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Ann Hasseltine Judson 






Missionary Education Movement of the 

United States and Canada 









Ann Hasseltine Judson 


The Hasseltine Home . 

Page 9 

Harriet Newell . . . . 

. '• 25 

Adoniram Judson 

. " 33 

The Caravan 

. ** 39 

Rangoon River Front . 

. '• 77 

The Golden Pagoda 

. " 81 

A Burmese House 

. '* 85 

The Queen's Monastery 

. " 117 

A Burmese Christian Home . 

. " 135 

A Burmese Cart . 

, " 199 

The Hopia Tree . 

. " 241 

2135393 • 





Nancy Hasseltine 



The Shadow of Coming Events 



Girl Pioneers .... 



A Long Good-by .... 



Perplexities on Every Side 



The Isle of France . 



A Home at Last .... 



" By the Old Rangoon Pagoda " 



Children's Voices 



Ann's Dilemma .... 



" The East A-callin' " . 



The Golden City of Ava . 



The Heroine of Ava . 



Prisoners in a Heathen Village 



The British Camp 

. 217 


The Hopia Tree .... 

. 230 

Ann of Ava 


from her favorite walk by the river 
and threw herself down in the big 
chair by the front window. It was April, 
and the air was intoxicatingly sweet with 
sunlight and the fragrance of the damp 
earth. Moreover, the river was riotously 
blue and turbulent, true to its Indian 
name, Merrimac, " the place of strong cur- 

Nancy's cheeks flamed with color, her 
brown eyes shone with the fire of spring, and 
her curly hair was blown bewitchingly about 
her face. There was not a prettier girl in 
Bradford nor in all the valley of the Mer- 
rimac than Ann, generally known as Nancy 
Hasseltine, and none more popular. 

There seemed to be no limit to her love 
of good times and to her merry, laughing 


Ann of Ava 

mood. She could bribe the bell-ringer at the 
academy with a smile. At home she was the 
life of the household. This last winter had 
been the gayest of all her sixteen years, 
thanks to that same little unpainted academy 
down the road, where more than eighty boys 
and girls were gathered in school. 

There were no high schools in Nancy's 
day and no regular sessions of grammar or 
primary school. A small, red schoolhouse 
stood across the way from the meeting-house, 
down near the frog pond and the alder 
swamp. Sometimes the men of the town 
would meet and vote to supply wood for the 
school fire during one or two months. Then 
school would keep, and the boys and girls 
would have a brief chance at book-learning. 

By and by, in the springtime of 1803, some 
wise parents decided that something must 
be done for the further education of their 
children. Whereupon about thirty of the 
" Inhabitants of the First Parish in Brad- 
ford," — so the records read, — met together 
and agreed to erect a building for an acad" 
emyl They subscribed for shares in the 
building fund until fifteen hundred dollars 

Ann of Ava 

was pledged. John Hasseltine, Nancy's 
father, gave a hundred dollars. 

Then these enterprising New England set- 
tlers went to work and built the academy, 
completing it in just three months from the 
time of the meeting in March. Early in 
June the first term opened, at the time of 
j'^ear when schools nowadays are getting ready 
to close. 

More than fifty pupils hastened to the 
new academy from Bradford and other 
Massachusetts towns, from Vermont, New 
Hampshire, and even from South Carolina, 
many of them traveling the long distance by 
stage-coach. Nancy Hasseltine and her three 
sisters were among the first pupils. 

On the outside the building looked like a 
small district schoolhouse, such as we see to- 
day in the heart of the country. Inside were 
two classrooms, one on the right for the 
boys, another on the left for the girls. A 
narrow corridor separated them and pro- 
jected somewhat in front. Above this pro-- 
jection a square tower rose to the height of 
a second story, culminating in an arched 
belfry in which hung the bell, Of course 


Ann of Ava 

there was no dormitory, large or small, to 
house the pupils from far away, so they 
boarded around at the various farms. 

The Hasseltine house, a few rods west of 
the academy on the " Boston Road," was the 
favorite resort of the boys and girls. Mr. 
Hasseltine was so heartily in sympathy with 
the young people that when he built his house 
he finished a hall at the rear of the second 
story to be used for their parties and enter- 

After the new academy was opened, 
Nancy's hours outside school were packed 
full of merrymaking. This last winter there 
had been parties galore. The little village of 
Bradford, deviating from the prim traditions 
of New England, was a center of social gaiety. 

Think not that studies were seriously 
neglected, because, from the beginning, Brad- 
ford Academy stood for high standards, al- 
though in those early daj^s the course of 
study was not so complex and difficult as 
it is thought to be in most schools to-day. 
The pupils acquired their knowledge of Eng- 
lish grammar by reading and parsing the 
standard literature of the day, such as Pope's 


Aftn of Ava 

Essay on Man and Paradise Lost. They 
made a fine art of penmanship, map draw- 
ing, and elaborate embroidery. Then, too, 
they studied English history, geography, 
arithmetic, and other branches; and grad- 
ually the range of studies enlarged. 

Fortunately for Nancy, she was as clever 
as she was beautiful, and lessons came as 
easily as fun-making. Moreover, with all 
her love of activity, she was devoted to read- 
ing. Any time a good book could beguile 
her into the cozy corner by the fireplace. 
Many lively discussions over their favorite 
authors were carried on among Nancy, her 
three sisters, and their mother, who was the 
greatest reader of them all. Yet in those 
festively gay months after Nancy's sixteenth 
birthday in December, studies and reading 
were pushed to the wall by a consuming in- 
terest in party dresses and party happenings. 
During that winter she outdid all her friends 
in frivolity, and none among them suspected 
the growing unrest in her soul. 

With the coming of spring, however, the 
inner restlessness would no longer be hushed 
by gaiety. As the girl came indoors on that 


Ann of Ava 

April afternoon, the pensive mood drew her 
irresistibly within its control. Her eyes grew 
big and dreamy with thought as she stretched 
her lithe figure comfortably in the arm-chair 
by the window, whence she looked out across 
the green fields to the river with its dark blue 
onrush of current. 

Her three sisters, Abby and Mary and 
Rebecca, had not yet come in from the 
academy; and her father and mother were 
busy out doors and in. Nancy ^was left 
alone with her thoughts there in the west 
room, which was deluged with the golden 
sunshine of late afternoon in springtime. 
In the evening there was to be a meet- 
ing in the upper parish, and she fought 
against her desire to go. Not for worlds 
would she have her schoolmates know that 
she had crept into a back seat at the meet- 
ing the other night and had suddenly found 
her face wet with tears. They should never 
suspect that something was tugging at her 
life deep down and making her most uncom- 
fortable. She had been recklessly gay of 
late just on purpose to cover up her real 
feelings. More than once her friends at 

Ann of Ava 

school had predicted that something dreadful 
would happen to her unless she sobered down. 
In the " very heart of her soul " she was 
sobering down at a tremendous rate, though 
they surmised it not. 

As the girl gazed dreamy-eyed and wistful 
out toward the river, her mother lifted the 
latch of the door. Quickly Nancy sprang to 
her feet that her mother might not notice her 
unusual thoughtfulness. The old restlessness 
flashed back into her eyes, and her easy 
bravado into her spirit and bearing. Mrs. 
Hasseltine looked searchingly at her young- 
est daughter, as she stood before her with 
flushed face and wind-tossed curls, her slight 
figure quivering with life. Her beauty was 
like that of the April day, all glow and color 
and promise. Mrs. Hasseltine drew the 
girl into the warm, quiet kitchen where the 
sunlight and firelight mingled their gleam 
upon the low rafters. Together, mother and 
daughter prepared the evening meal. The 
teakettle swung on the crane humming its 
steamy song, the potatoes snapped in the 
ashes, and the smell of baked things came 
from the deep, brick oven. As they worked. 

Ann of Ava 

they talked and they thought, and sometimes 
their thoughts strayed far from their speech. 
Nancy was still struggling with those phan- 
toms which haunted her mind and whose 
presence must be concealed. Her mother's 
heart was filled with hopes and fears for her 
youngest girl, who was so gay and sweet and 
impetuous, like the tumultuous river in 

For Nancy the April days sped rapidly, 
and joy and song were in the air, even though 
a minor tune rang insistently in her heart. 
One Sunday evening, Mr. Burnham, the 
principal of the academy, came to make a 
friendly call upon the Hasseltine family, as 
was his frequent habit. He was a young 
man, a Dartmouth student, who had taken 
charge of the school in Bradford the year 
before. There was something manly and 
earnest about him which ^on the respect and 
liking of his pupils and of people in general. 
This Sunday evening, with Mr. and Mrs. 
Hasseltine and the four girls, he was talk- 
ing in very straightforward fashion. Finally 
he made a remark which expressed Nancy's 
inner mood so exactly that she could hardly 

The Hasseltuie Home 

Ann of Ava 

conceal her embarrassment. He said that 
sometimes people deliberately covered up 
their real feelings because they were afraid 
of becoming too serious. Nancy slipped out 
into the garden under the fruit trees to 
wrestle again with those troublesome thoughts 
which would not let her alone. 

That night and for days after, she thought 
and thought until it seemed as if her brain 
would burst with thinking. She wondered 
if the Bible would help, but she could not 
understand the Bible very well. God seemed 
very far off and unapproachable. What 
should she do? She was too unhappy to 
pretend gaiety any longer, though not " for 
the whole world," as she wrote in her diary, 
would she have her schoolmates know that 
she was disturbed by thoughts about God. 

Frequently she shut herself in her room 
to read the books Mr. Burnham had given 
her and to try to pray. God still seemed 
remote and stern to the troubled mind of 
the girl, but gradually she began to realize 
that Jesus Christ was real and human and 
lovable. He could understand her perfectly, 
and there was no fear in trusting her life 


Ann of Ava 

to One who really knew and loved without 
limit. All the hero-worship of her soul went 
out to him in a great wave of loyalty. His 
perfect friendliness revealed God in a new 
light of infinite love and gentleness. The 
heavy weight of unhappiness that had dragged 
upon her spirits for so many weeks was fully 
and finally lifted. 

Nancy was sixteen when she became a 
Christian, and sixteen also when with others 
of her school friends she joined the little 
church at Bradford. About the same time 
her father and mother became church-mem- 
bers. It was through Nancy, his favorite 
daughter, that John Hasseltine acknowledged 
himself a Christian. One summer evening 
the girl had knelt in her open window and 
the tears came as they often did in those 
days. Her father was crossing the field to- 
ward the house when he looked up and saw 
Nancy in all her loveliness kneeling and 
weeping. She was his idol, and as he looked 
at her he said to himself, " If my child, so 
sweet and innocent, weeps when she comes 
to God in prayer, what will become of me?" 
Whereupon he walked out on his farm, threw 

Ann of Ava 

himself down under an oak tree and prayed. 
From that night he was willing to be known 
as a Christian man. 

During the lovely summer days of the 
year 1806, when school was still in session, 
nearly all the boys and girls in Bradford 
Academy thought hard about serious things. 
As a result, many of them became Christians. 
The young principal, Mr. Burnham, was an 
inspiration to them all. For a time, classes 
were actually suspended that teacher and 
pupils might talk and pray together and 
consider diligently what each might do to 
help bring the world to Jesus Christ. 

During those same midsummer days, an- 
other group of students in another New 
England town was facing the same tremen- 
dous question and facing it with even greater 
definiteness of purpose. Through the " di- 
vinity that shapes our ends," those forces at 
work simultaneously at Bradford Academy 
and Williams College were to blend some day 
into one great student movement to reach 
around the world. 

Among those whose lives were touched by 
the wonderful influence of Bradford Acad- 


Ann of Ava 

emy in those early days was a slender, flower- 
like girl named Harriet Atwood. She was 
one of the younger girls who had come the 
year before, when twelve years old, from 
her home across the river in Haverhill. In 
the sweet, sunshiny afternoons of July and 
August, Harriet and Nancy joined their 
schoolmates in lazy strolls down the grassy 
path which led from the academy into the 
depths of the wood. Red berries, trailing 
vines, and deep-scented ferns grew in the 
shade of the forest trees. Upon a mossy 
bank the boys and girls sat and talked, with 
all the golden enthusiasm of youth, of the 
years to come, and of the exploits they would 
do when they were men and women grown. 
With her brown eyes sparkling and her voice 
quivering with eagerness, Nancy spoke of 
service and heroism. Little Harriet, large- 
eyed and serious, was already dreaming of 
sacrifice. But the long simimer days and 
the " heart of the ancient wood " brought no 
revealing hint of those thrilling experiences 
which were to come even a few years hence 
into the lives of Harriet Atwood and Nancy 



FOUR years passed, and summer days 
came again to the valley of the 
JNIerrimac. During the last week of 
June a strange excitement stirred the little 
village of Bradford, from the covered bridge 
over the river unto the farthest farm on the 
" Boston Road." In many a house busy 
prei)arations were being made for dinner and 
supper parties of varying size. At noon and 
sunset time guests from near and far would 
gather in the hospitable homes of Bradford 
for the ample repasts for which New Eng- 
land has always been famous. 

With all the bustle and activity, a new 
and thrilling interest occupied the minds of 
the people. In the low-raftered kitchens and 
out upon the green roadsides lively discussion 
was carried on among young and old alike. 
The cause of this unwonted excitement could 
have been traced to the little parish meeting- 
house which stood at the junction of the two 


Ann of Ava 

roads, across the way from the Kimball 
Tavern. So simple was it that no chimney 
or steeple dignified its exterior, yet beneath 
its humble gable roof a great, historic event 
was even now being enacted. In the boxed 
pews sat the black-robed ministers from the 
churches of Massachusetts who had come to 
Bradford for three long June days of de- 
liberation concerning the problems of the 
New England parish. On horseback, by 
chaise and by stage-coach they had jour- 
neyed, these " Church fathers," as they were 
respectfully called. 

On the second day profound astonishment 
seemed to take possession of the twenty- 
eight clergymen in the pews and to lay hold 
also upon the townspeople who had gathered 
in the galleries around the three sides. The 
air was electric with interest. Down near the 
front sat four young men upon whom all 
eyes were fastened. They were young col- 
lege men now in Andover Theological Semi- 
nary. Early that morning they had walked 
the ten miles to Bradford in order to present 
to the Massachusetts muiisters a momentous 
proposition. Their written petition had just 

Ann of Ava 

been laid upon the communion table, after 
having been read in the clear, deep voice of 
Adoniram Judson, the spokesman of the 
group. A responsive thrill stirred the people 
as the young man took his seat. It was a 
bold project he had advocated, seeming 
scarcely reasonable, yet the conviction of the 
four students was contagious. 

In the summer of 1806 this " bold project " 
had first crystallized into a serious purpose. 
Almost simultaneously with the religious 
awakening at Bradford Academy, five Chris- 
tian students in Williams College had framed 
a far-reaching resolution. One hot day in 
August they went, according to habit, into 
a maple grove to pray together. The sky 
blackened with the approach of a thunder- 
shower, and they hastened to a near-by hay- 
stack for protection. There in the storm 
they talked about the vast old continent of 
Asia, concerning which they had read and 
studied. They told tales of the ignorance 
and wretchedness of its people, whereupon 
Samuel Mills for the first time unfolded his 
darling scheme of sending missionaries to 
those heathen lands, perhaps even offering 


Ann of Ava 

their own lives for the great service. He 
grew more and more enthusiastic as he talked, 
until finally he exclaimed with a vehemence 
none of them ever forgot, " We can do it if 
we will!" Under his leadership a secret so- 
ciety called the " Brethren " was organized 
in Williams College, and those initiated 
united in the purpose to go themselves as 
missionaries to the non- Christian world. Af- 
ter graduation, some of the " Brethren," in- 
cluding Samuel Mills, went to Andover 
Seminary to study for the ministry. There 
they found kindred spirits in Samuel Newell 
from Union College, Samuel Xott from Har- 
vard, and Adoniram Judson from Brown 
Universit}^ all of whom joined the order of 
the " Brethren." 

Everywhere he went Adoniram Judson 
became a recognized leader. He was bril- 
liant, forceful, imaginative, and an indomi- 
table worker. At Brown he had led his 
class, and at Andover he had received an 
offer dazzling to the ambition of a young 
theologue. He had been invited to become 
associate pastor of the largest cliurch in 
Boston and in all New England as well. But 

Ann of Ava 

no, his aspiration reached far beyond Boston 
and the bounds of his country, even to the 
ancient East, whither no missionary from 
America had yet been sent. Thither he would 
go, and to a people who had never heard the 
name of Christ he would proclaim the Mas- 
ter whom he was learning to serve with 
passionate loyaltj^ 

In the Bradford meeting-house this June 
day in 1810, Adoniram Judson with the 
three " Samuels," his companions, boldly 
asked to be sent by the churches of JNIassa- 
chusetts on a mission to the heathen world! 
Never yet had a missionary gone from 
America to those countries beyond the seas, 
months and months away. American sailors 
who had touched the coasts of India, Burma, 
and Africa brought home tales of the awful 
degradation and savagery of the inhabitants. 
Most people thought it was an insane notion 
to dream of converting them to the Christian 

Conflicting ideas battled in the minds of 
the ministers. Upon first, and even second, 
thought the undertaknig sounded " wild and 
romantic"; yet upon the faces of the young 


Ann of Ava 

men they read clear-eyed conviction. They 
were confident that the voice of God had 
spoken. " We would better not try to stop 
God," said one of the ministers. The as- 
sembly waited, hushed and uncertain, listen- 
ing intently, as each of the young men told 
why he believed it his duty to give up home 
and friends and go on the long, perilous jour- 
ney to the heathen world. As in modern 
business meetings, decision was referred to 
a committee of three who were to report on 
the morrow. 

On Friday, the 29th of June, the commit- 
tee appeared before the council and an- 
nounced its verdict. They recommended that 
the purpose of the young men be approved, 
and, furthermore, that a foreign missionary 
board be organized in America to insure the 
support of the young volunteers and those 
who should follow their example. They even 
suggested its name, a long unwieldy one, 
the " American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions." Without a protest the 
report was adopted. It was a breathless mo- 
ment for the four young men, who had hardly 
dared to dream such a victory possible. 

Ann of Ava 

Every one present recognized that it was 
their tremendous earnestness which had won 
the day. 

The session was dismissed for noon inter- 
mission. A group of ministers, Adoniram 
Judson in their midst, strolled up the road 
past the academy to Deacon Hasseltine's 
house, where they were invited to dine. In 
the west room the table had been laid for 
the noon dinner-party. The Hasseltines had 
a widespread reputation for hospitality which 
the tempting array of pies and cakes and 
other eatables amply justified. 

To Xancy, the youngest daughter of the 
household, fell the task of serving her father's 
guests. As she watched them coming up the 
path from the gate, her flashing eyes revealed 
her interest in the day's unusual event. At 
twenty she was even more beautiful than the 
girl of sixteen, for a sweet thoughtfulness 
tempered the old laughing gaiety of eyes and 
mouth. Her cheeks were flushed with the 
heat and excitement of the day, her soft curls 
clustered about her fair neck. Of all the 
varied beauty of the day in June nothing 
was so wondrous fair as the girl Nancy. 


Ann of Ava 

As the guests entered the room a pair of 
keen, fearless brown eyes met hers, and their 
gaze lingered as if spellbound. From the 
moment Adoniram Judson and Nancy Has- 
seltine looked into each other's eyes a great 
and wonderful experience was born in the 
lives of both. 

During the meal, Adoniram Judson, noted 
for his ready wit and social grace, was un- 
accountably silent. For some reason he 
seemed strangely preoccupied with his plate. 
Nancy, who had heard of his eloquent speech, 
his daring proclamation of his beliefs, mar- 
veled at his stubborn silence. As she cut the 
pies on the broad window-sill she cast a 
furtive glance at the young man who was 
the hero of the hour, but who could not be 
persuaded to talk. Little did she dream 
that his thoughts were forcibly diverted from 
the absorbing theme which his companions 
still discussed, and that deep down in his 
mind he was composing a sonnet in honor of 
the loveliest girl he had ever seen. 




ONE day, about a month after the 
eventful gathering in the meeting- 
house, the Boston stage-coach 
brought to Bradford a certain small piece of 
mail destined to become of large importance 
in the lives of two people. It was a letter 
carefully sealed with wax and in fine, firm 
handwriting, addressed to Miss Nancy Has- 
seltine. As the girl broke the seal joy and 
fear mingled for one fleeting instant upon her 

For many days the letter lay unanswered, 
but Nancy went about the house and along 
the grassy highways of Bradford with the 
light of a great wonder shining in her eyes. 
Persistently, however, she feigned indiffer- 
ence and deliberately postponed reply to the 
letter. Finally, her sister, exasperated by her 
procrastination, said to her, " Have you an- 
swered that letter of Mr. Judson's? " " No," 
retorted Nancy with a toss of her brown 
curls. " Then if you don't, I shall," re- 
sponded the older sister. 


Ann of Ava 

The threat had the desired effect, and in 
course of time a letter written and sealed by 
Nancy Hasseltine reached Adoniram Judson 
at Phillips Hall, Andover. That letter 
brought an interesting challenge to the young 
man who all his life had pushed his way 
through every obstacle to the goal of his 
ambition. In her girlish perversity and in 
her real perplexity, Nancy had written a 
cool, discouraging reply to his eager letter. 
Adoniram Judson perceived her dilemma, for 
with his fine sense of honor he realized keenly 
the tremendous sacrifice he was demanding of 
the girl he loved in asking her to become his 

He might have offered her a comfortable 
home in the city of Boston as the wife of one 
of its leading clergymen. There her beauty 
and intelligence would have shone in con- 
spicuous brightness. Instead, he was invit- 
ing her to share the uncertain lot of the first 
missionary from America to the mysterious 
regions of southern Asia. It was perfectly 
reasonable to expect suffering and privation, 
even persecution and death. Yet he believed 
Ann Hasseltine was capable of just that high 

Ann of Ava 

heroism which such a hfe demanded. That 
glad belief drew his steps confidently to- 
ward Bradford during those wonderful sum- 
mer days which were bringing deep heart- 
searchings to the young man and woman. 

On her part, Nancy was struggling with a 
question which no woman in America had 
yet been called upon to face. Should she 
marry the man who was consuming her 
thoughts and go away from her father's 
house to a distant land probably never to 
return? " Xo," said nearly every one whose 
advice was sought, or who proffered an opin- 
ion unasked. " It is altogether preposterous 
for a woman to consider such a rash under- 
taking." " It is utterly improper," said one; 
" It is wild and romantic," said another. Mr. 
Kimball, the father of one of Nancy's school 
friends, declared that he would tie his daugh- 
ter to the bedpost before he would let her go. 
But the girl Nancy, with her old independ- 
ent spirit deepened by a new sense of duty, 
followed the call of God, regardless of im- 
sympathetic comments. 

There were a few people who stood by her 
and encouraged her to dare all and go. 


Ann of Ava 

Among them was her sister Abigail, that 
tall, self-possessed girl who afterwards be- 
came principal of Bradford Academy and 
retained that position for forty years. Abby 
and Nancy were great chums, understanding 
each other easily, even though they were quite 
unlike in temperament, perhaps because of 
that very fact. Abigail was teaching school 
in Beverly and late in the summer her young 
sister went to visit her. While there Nancy 
wrote the following letter, in the rather pon- 
derous English used in her time, to her old 
school friend, Lydia, who lived near her in 

Beverly, September 8, 1810. 
" I have ever made you a confidant. I 
will still confide in you and beg for your 
prayers that I may be directed in regard to 
the subject which I shall communicate. I 
feel willing, and expect, if nothing in provi- 
dence prevents, to spend my days in this 
world in heathen lands. Yes, Lydia, I have 
about come to the determination to give up 
all my comforts and enjoyments here, sacri- 
fice my affection to relatives and friends, and 

Harriet Newell 

Ann of Ava 

go where God, iii his providence, shall see 
fit to place me. My determinations are not 
hasty or formed without viewing the dangers, 
trials, and hardships attendant on a mission- 
ary life. Nor were my determinations formed 
in consequence of an attachment to an earthly 
object; but with a sense of my obligation to 
God, and with a full conviction of its being 
a call of providence, and consequently my 
duty. INIy feelings have been exquisite in 
regard to the subject. Now my mind is 
settled and composed, and is willing to leave 
the event with God — none can support one 
under trials and afflictions but he. In him 
alone I feel a disposition to confide." 

There was another girl friend of the old 
academy days who must be told the great 
news of her engagement and missionary pur- 
pose. So, one October morning after her 
return to Bradford, Nancy went through 
the covered bridge which led across the INIer- 
rimac into Haverhill, up the hill to the town 
square and on to the house of Harriet At- 
wood. Harriet had just passed her seven- 
teenth birthday, and Nancy would be twenty- 


Ann of Ava 

one in December. To her little friend Nancy 
confided her expectation of becoming the 
wife of a missionary to India. Harriet's big, 
brown eyes grew misty with wonder and sym- 
pathy. In her diary that night she wrote 
these words in a style which resembled 
Nancy's : 

" How did this news affect my heart ! Is 
she willing to do all this for God; and shall 
I refuse to lend my little aid in a land where 
divine revelation has shed its clearest rays? 
I have felt more for the salvation of the 
heathen this day than I recollect to have felt 
through my whole past life. . . . What can 
I do, that the light of the gospel may shine 
upon them? They are perishing for lack of 
knowledge, while I enjoy the glorious privi- 
leges of a Christian land. Great God direct 
me! Oh, make me in some way beneficial to 
their immortal souls ! " 

In less than a month that same little diary 
of Harriet's bore this entry: 

" Sleep has fled from me and my soul is 
enveloped in a dark cloud of troubles! Oh 

Ann of Ava 

that God would direct me; that he would 
plainly mark out the path of duty and let 
me not depart from it." 

In that short interim, Samuel Newell, one 
of the missionary volunteers, had come into 
Harriet's life; and by night and by day the 
thoughts of the girl were dream-haunted. 

The winter passed and the spring days 
came again. One April evening while Har- 
riet was visiting her sister in Charlestown, 
she came back from Boston to find — a letter I 
Just a slip of paper with a few strokes of the 
pen upon it, but what agitation that can pro- 
duce in a girl's inner being! She broke the 
seal and read the words and the name she 
had expected, yes, dreaded to see. To Har- 
riet, as to Nancy, had come the great testing 
of love and loyalty. 

Through the tears which dimmed her eyes 
Harriet wrote a few days later in her diary: 

" The important decision is not yet made. 
I am still wavering. I long to see and con- 
verse with my dear mother! So delicate is 
my situation that I dare not unbosom my 
heart to a single person. What shall I do? 


Ann of Ava 

Could tears direct me in the path of duty, 
surely I should be directed — ]My heart 
aches; — I know not what to do! — " Guide 
me, O Thou great Jehovah." I shall go 
home on Tuesday. Perhaps my dear mother 
will immediately say: Harriet shall never go. 
Well, if this should be the case my duty 
would be plain. I cannot act contrary to 
the advice and express commands of a pious 

When Tuesday came, Harriet mounted 
the stage-coach which traveled between Bos- 
ton and Haverhill and came again to her 
mother's house in the town square. Before 
crossing the Merrimac the stage lumbered 
through Bradford along the " Boston Road," 
past the academy and the Hasseltine house. 
The youngest and fairest daughter of that 
Bradford household and the slender, brown- 
eyed girl of Haverhill were destined not 
many months hence to leave the sunny farms 
of New England, even the dear home people 
around the family hearth and go out across 
two oceans to the mysterious land of southern 
Asia and spend their lives among its pagan 

Ann of Ava 

Harriet found her mother already pre- 
pared for the solemn question which was in- 
vading their home. In his stress of mind, 
Samuel Newell had made a confidant of 
Nancy Hasseltine, and she had been the 
bearer of his troubled request to Harriet's 
mother. With tears in her eyes that loyal 
Christian woman replied, *' I dare not, I 
cannot speak against it." Thus, when Har- 
riet came home that April day, JNIrs. Atwood 
was ready to trust the great decision to her 
daughter's conscience. Since her father's 
death, three years before, Harriet had clung 
with increasing affection to her mother. Now, 
a wonderful, new love was surging up in her 
life, transforming her from a girl into a 
woman and supplying her with purpose ir- 
resistible. Samuel Newell had drav/n out the 
deepest love of her maiden heart. Yet not 
alone for the sake of her lover did she decide 
upon the difficult life of a missionary, but 
because she was determined down to the 
depths of her pure soul to go wherever God 
should lead her. 

In June, Harriet and Samuel were com- 
pelled to part for nine long months as the 


Ann of Ava 

young man was going to Philadelphia to join 
his friend Gordon Hall in the study of 
physics and medicine by way of further 
preparation for their missionary work. It 
was a lonely heart that was left behind in the 
house in Haverhill. Nancy Hasseltine would 
have been a great comfort, but Nancy was 
away on a long visit in Salem. 

Early in the winter Nancy had said good- 
by to Adoniram Judson as he had set forth 
on a far longer journey than the stage route 
to Philadelphia. He had sailed on the ship 
Packet for England, having been sent to 
London by the directors of the new American 
missionary society to confer with the older 
English society as to some possible combina- 
tion between the two organizations. 

In those days a voyage to Europe was a 
snail-like process consuming two months of 
time. Letters traveled even more slowly, so 
that Adoniram Judson could well-nigh come 
again to the valley of the JSIerrimac before 
Nancy would hear of his arrival on the 
English shore. Hence it was many weeks 
before the news reached Bradford of the 
exciting adventures which befell the young 

Ann of Ava 

man on his trip across the Atlantic. His 
ship was captured by a French privateer and 
he was taken prisoner to Bayonne, France. 
For six weeks he was detained there, although 
early in his captivity he had been released 
from prison on parole and allowed to board 
in an American family in the city. It was 
the 6th of IVIay before he reached London, 
and in June, his business completed, he sailed 
on the ship Augustus for New York. The 
last of August brought him to his father's 
home in Plymouth and to that other home 
on the banks of the river in Bradford. 

The return of Adoniram Judson with his 
message from England was the signal for 
another meeting of the men who had gathered 
in the Bradford church a year and more ago. 
On the 18th of September, the "Church 
fathers," now the officers and members of 
the new missionary society, assembled in the 
town of Worcester, Massachusetts. Ado- 
niram Judson, slight of build, even bojdsh 
in appearance, but with piercingly bright 
eyes and resonant voice, stood forth and 
announced his decision. A joint missionary 
enterprise between England and America 


Ann of Ava 

had been disapproved by the leaders in Lon- 
don, but the London Missionary Society was 
wiUing to adopt the American vohmteers as 
its missionaries and promptly send them 
forth to their distant posts of service. Con- 
sequently, — and here Adoniram Judson ex- 
hibited his tremendous power of determina- 
tion, — if the American society refused his 
appointment, he would become a missionary 
of the English organi7ation. Samuel Nott 
announced a similar resolve. 

The unyielding purpose of the young men 
proved the needed spur to action and the 
American Board of Commissioners for For- 
eign Missions then and there appointed its 
first missionaries, Adoniram Judson, Samuel 
Newell, Samuel Nott, and Gordon Hall. 
For a second time victory was scored by 
means of the bold consecration of the mis- 
sionary volunteers. 

The autumn days deepened into winter; 
and hope and dread stirred the lives of Nancy 
and Harriet, Adoniram and Samuel. The 
time of their departure was drawing nigh. 
In January an exciting message came from 
Samuel Newell and Gordon Hall in Phila- 

Adoniram Judson 

Ann of Ava 

delphia. In two weeks the ship Harmony 
was to sail from that city to Calcutta and the 
government would permit missionaries to take 
passage. A second war with England was 
threatening, and if they did not sail at once 
ports might be blockaded and departure long 

Should they go? It was a terrific question 
which pressed for immediate answer upon 
the officers of the young mission board. Only 
a small sum of money was in the treasury, 
not enough to pay the passage fees. Was 
it reasonable to expect that the actual de- 
parture of missionaries for a heathen country 
would attract attention and awaken sym- 
pathy to such an extent that gifts of money 
would be forthcoming? Should they boldly 
venture and bravely trust? Long and anx- 
iously they prayed and deliberated, seeking 
to discern the right. At last the vote was 
cast, and the verdict was — the missionaries 
shall go! 

To the Hasseltine and Atwood homes came 
the word that Nancy and Harriet must soon 
take their marriage vows and say farewell, 
perhaps forever, to their childhood homes. 


Ann of Ava 

The piercing winds of a New England 
winter swept through the valley of the Mer- 
rimac and along the snowy highways of 
Bradford, when, on the 5th of February, a 
group of people gathered in the west room 
of the Hasseltine house. A strange hush 
fell upon the little company, and tears were 
close to the eyes of every guest. Harriet 
Atwood sat by the side of Samuel Newell, 
her betrothed, a sad seriousness resting 
upon her. But the center of interest 
was the radiant, beautiful face of Nancy 
Hasseltine as she gave her hand and heart 
in marriage to the missionary, Adoniram Jud- 
son, whom, less than two years before, she 
had first met in this very room. Her brave, 
unfaltering eyes shone with a wonderful light 
as Pastor Allen gave the two young people 
his blessing, called them " his dear children," 
and spoke lovingly of the labors they were to 

From that night the girl Nancy, popular, 
clever, beautiful, became the woman resource- 
ful and heroic, who was destined to be known 
in three continents as Ann Hasseltine Jud- 
son, the heroine of Ava, 


ALTHOUGH it was a bitterly cold 
Z_k day in February the streets of Salem 
•^ JL-were well filled with people. In- 
voluntarily on such a day one would hover 
near the cheery kitchen fireplace with its 
savory warmth. Instead, the people of this 
seacoast town seemed to be drawn forth, as 
by the spell of a Hamelin piper, toward one 
enchanted spot, the white meeting-house 
known as Tabernacle Church. From neigh- 
boring towns sleighs brought bundled, shiver- 
ing folk along the snowy roads to Salem. 
From Andover, a delegation of students, 
boys and young men, walked the entire six- 
teen miles in the freezing cold of early morn- 
ing, returning on foot late in the afternoon. 
But cold and weariness were speedily for- 
gotten in the great and absorbing interest 
which centered in the day's events in Taber- 
nacle Church. 

On this sixth day of February, 1812, five 
young men were to be ordained as Christian 


Ann of Ava 

ministers and commissioned by the Church 
of America as its first missionaries to a 
heathen country. In imagination people pic- 
tured the separation from home, the long 
voyage across the gray, wintry ocean, and 
the possible hostility and persecution of the 
savage inhabitants of those distant regions. 
Every heart felt a throb of sympathy with 
those dauntless young people who had al- 
ready left their homes and were soon to de- 
part from their native land perhaps forever. 
Near the front of the church, before the 
distinguished clergymen from Boston, Salem, 
and other towns, knelt five volunteers for 
missionary service, Adoniram Judson, Samuel 
Newell, Samuel Nott, Gordon Hall, and a 
new recruit, Luther Rice. A hand of fatherly 
blessing was laid upon each youthful head 
bowed in willing consecration to God and 
obedience to his call. Kneeling there before 
the elder ministers, these young men in their 
purity and earnestness resembled Sir Gala- 
had as he knelt before his superior knight, 
Sir Launcelot, to receive the " high order 
of knighthood." For a more perilous quest 
than that of Sir Galahad for the Holy Grail, 

Ann of Ava 

they vowed their allegiance as knights of the 
great King whose Round Table is in very 
truth the whole, round world. 

During the dedication service many eyes 
turned from the young missionaries to linger 
lovingly upon a girlish figure kneeling rever- 
ently by the side of a boxed pew near the 
front. A scoop bonnet, the fashion of the 
day, covered her brown curls and partly 
shielded the brave, beautiful face of Mrs. 
Adoniram Judson, the bride of a single day. 
On her long visit in Salem, Nancy Hassel- 
tine had become well known in town. More- 
over, in her school-days, stories of her gaiety 
and beauty had drifted through the country- 
side, — stories which reached a high climax 
in the announcement of her decision to go as 
a foreign missionary, — an unprecedented ca- 
reer for an American woman. A solemn joy 
seemed to radiate through her kneeling figure 
during the service which sacredly sealed her 
marriage vows. 

Another girlish face tugged hard* at the 
heartstrings of the people. It was that of 
Harriet Atwood, the young woman who 
witliin a few days would become the bride 


Ann of Ava 

of Samuel Xewell and go with him across 
the great seas to a new home in the far 
East. She was a fragile flower of girlhood, 
apparently unfitted for storm and tempest; 
but those who looked into the depths of her 
sad, brown eyes read there the indomitable 
purpose dwelling in her frail body. 

At the close of that memorable day, Sam- 
uel Nott, Gordon Hall, and Luther Rice 
took their departure for Philadelphia, expect- 
ing to sail in a few days on the Harmony 
for Calcutta.^ The others lingered in Beverly 
and Salem, waiting for wind and tide to 
favor the sailing of the brig Caravan from 
the port of Salem bound for the coast of Asia. 

Already the little boat was rocking at its 
moorings out in the harbor. Compared with 
the gigantic steamships which cross the ocean 
to-day, she was a baby craft of perhaps five 
hundred tons' burden. The Mayflower was 
about one third the size of the Caravan, while 
the Titanic was one hundred times larger. 
On board, her crew were receiving freight 
and provisions for the long voyage around 
the Cape of Good Hope to India. 

On shore, four people looked anxiously 

The " Caravan 

Ann of Ava 

each day out toward the black masts of the 
ship which was to bear them away from 
everything dear and familiar into experiences 
which God alone knew. Enough that he 
knew and would provide for the whole, un- 
certain future of their lives 1 

On Monday, the 17th of February, a ter- 
rific storm fell upon Salem, almost burying 
the town in snow. The next day dawned 
bleak and cold, with a presage in the air of 
coming events. Before the forenoon was 
past the desired and dreaded summons be» 
came a reality. A message was brought to 
the Judsons and Xewells requesting them to 
go on board at once, that the ship might be 
ready to sail with the first friendly breeze. 

The inevitable " last things " were hastily 
collected and carried down to the wharf. The 
sleigh stood at the door and the long, long 
good-bys must be said. Down through the 
snowy streets of Salem to the end of the 
lowest wharf in town the missionaries were 
driven, thence to be transferred by the cus- 
tom-house boat to the Caravan out in the bay. 

It was a dreary, frigid day, but neverthe- 
less a number of friends gathered at the end 


Ann of Ava 

of the pier to show their sympathy with the 
young missionaries and their brave purpose. 
During the two weeks of w^aiting for the 
Caravan to sail, interest in the new under- 
taking had mightily deepened. Even those 
opposed could not check their hearts' impulse 
to lavish kindness upon the missionaries and 
their j'^outhful brides. A purse of fifty dol- 
lars was left at the door one day with the 
label, " For Mr. Judson's private use." Best 
of all, money for outfits and salaries had been 
almost miraculously provided. On January 
twenty-seventh only twelve hundred dollars 
was in the treasury of the new mission board. 
Within three weeks more than six thousand 
dollars had been freely given, and by the time 
the two sliips Harmony and Caravan sailed 
the needs of the missionaries were supplied 
for a year in advance. 

The west wind, which throughout the day 
had given promise of departure to the long- 
delayed ship, died away at dusk, and thus 
removed all hope of sailing that night. From 
the deck of the Caravan the surrounding 
scene was desolation itself. The sky was 
ominously black and dark, stormy waters 

Ann of Ava 

stretched away seaward. On shore, dim lit- 
tle lights spoke tantalizingly of home. But 
within, the cabin of the Judsons presented 
a sharp contrast to the dolefulness without. 
Adoniram and Ann Judson, Samuel and 
Harriet Newell, and two young men friends 
who were spending the night on board, talked 
exultingly together of their high hopes for 
a great work to be achieved in Christ's name 
in the needy countries of the ancient East. 
They sang hymns from an old singing-book 
long since forgotten, and they prayed in the 
" quietness and confidence " which was their 
daily strength. Ann Judson, shiny eyed and 
triumphant, sang and talked with almost her 
usual animation. Somewhat quieter than the 
others was the youngest of their number, 
Harriet Newell. Her thoughts clung wist- 
fully to the mother away over the snowy 
fields in Haverhill town. Late in the evening 
she wrote her a letter to be sent back by the 
pilot- boat on the morrow: — '* Here am I, 
my dear mother, on board the brig Caravan 
in a neat little cabin. ... I have at length 
taken leave of the land of my forefathers and 
entered the vessel which will be my place of 


Ann of Ava 

residence till I reach the desired haven. 
Think not, my dear mother, that we are now 
sitting in silent sorrow, strangers to peace. 
O, no; though the idea that I have left you, 
to see you no more, is painful indeed, yet I 
think I can say that I have found the grace 
of my Redeemer sufficient for me — his 
strength has been made perfect in my weak- 
ness. We have been engaged in singing this 
evening, and can you believe me when I tell 
you that I never engaged in this delightful 
part of worship with greater pleasure? . . . 
I never shall repay you, my dear mother, 
for all the kindness and love you have shown 
me thus far in life. Accept my sincere thanks 
for every favor, and O, forgive me for so 
often causing you pain and anxiety. May 
the Almighty reward you a hundred-fold for 
your kindness to me. And now, my dear 
mother, what more shall I say but ask you 
to pray for me and engage other Christians 
to do the same. ... It is late — I must re- 
tire — dear mother, adieu." 

The following morning, the 19th of Febru- 
ary, a little after sunrise, the Caravan spread 

Ann of Ava 

her sails to the wind and steered her course 
straight out to sea. The tall chimney at the 
entrance of the harbor was a landmark long 
to be distinguished as it traced a black perpen- 
dicular against the snowy New England hills. 
But by and by it vanished into dim space and 
the great, gray ocean was all around. 



INSIDE a musty old tavern made of mud 
and straw, on the banks of the Hoogly 
river in India, a young woman waited 
in lonely suspense. The desolateness of her 
attitude might have revealed her a stranger 
in a strange land, even had her brown hair 
and fair skin not marked her instantly as 
different from the richly brunette women of 
India. In beauty, however, she belonged 
among the loveliest in that land of lovely 
women, and the sad anxiety in her eyes added 
a softened appeal to her charm. 

For the first time since she landed in India 
five months before, Ann Judson found her- 
self alone and unprotected among the strange, 
dark people of the country, with their 
stranger tones and gestures. Where her hus- 
band was and when he would come, she did 
not know. They had been separated sixteen 
miles up the river when they received the 
government order to leave the ship in which 
they had taken flight from Calcutta two days 

Ann of Ava 

previously. Here she was, without escort, 
with only a few rupees in her purse, only a 
few words of the language at her command, 
the old thatched tavern her only place of 
refuge, and even its hospitality uncertain. 
Her father's house in Bradford seemed mil- 
lions of miles away, as if it were upon an- 
other planet, and her girlhood life in the 
New England village almost like another 

This was the solid reality of missionary 
experience of which she had vaguely dreamed 
in the early days of her engagement to Ado- 
niram Judson. " These are the trials which 
attend a missionary's life and which I antici- 
pated," she said to herself, " and which, with 
God's help, I am ready to meet." 

It was a series of disappointing adventures 
which had led up to Ann's desolate situation 
in the river tavern. When our American 
missionaries landed in Calcutta in June, 
1812, the East India Company had promptly 
turned its hostile eye upon them and deter- 
mined to force them out of the country. This 
company was a trading corporation which at 
that time controlled Great Britain's policy in 


Ann of Ava 

India. Its officials had no welcome for mis- 
sionaries, because it was feared that any 'at- 
tempt to interfere with the idolatrous religion 
of the native peoples would breed rebellion to 
British rule. Moreover, a large revenue 
poured into the treasury of the company from 
protection given to idol worship, so that the 
heathen religion was financially profitable. 
A year later, by the efforts of some Christian 
gentlemen in England, the charter of the 
East India Company was amended in its 
passage through Parliament to insure tolera- 
tion to missionaries in India. 

In 1812, however, the little groups of 
American pioneers arriving by the Caravan, 
and six weeks later by the Harmony, felt the 
full brunt of government opposition, ag- 
gravated by the hostile relations then exist- 
ing between England and America because 
of the second war between the two countries. 

Upon landing in India the Judsons and 
Newells had been invited to Serampore to 
visit the English Baptist missionaries until 
their companions should arrive by the Har- 
mony and locations for the new missions be 
determined. William Carey, the first Eng- 

Ann of Ava 

lish foreign missionary, with his colleagues, 
Marshman and Ward, had, by persistent 
struggle, built up a wonderful missionary 
enterprise in the town of Serampore on the 
Ganges, fifteen miles from Calcutta. 

Here the newcomers spent ten happy, ab- 
sorbing days observing the customs of the 
country and trying to decide, with the help 
of the older missionaries, where they would 
settle. Burma had been the land of desire 
for Adoniram Judson since his student days 
at Andover, when he had read Col. Symes's 
'Embassy to Ava, and his imagination had 
responded to its glowing pictures of Oriental 
life. But Burma was a forbidden territory 
to missionaries, so said Dr. Carey, because 
of the cruel despotism of its government and 
brutal savagery of its inhabitants. Two 
Englishmen had attempted a mission there, 
but had abandoned it as hopeless. Dr. 
Carey's son, the only missionary then in 
Burma, had been obliged to take refuge for 
fifty days on an English frigate, and his re- 
turn to the country had been on precarious 
terms. Burma presented a dismal prospect; 
but where should they go to escape the hos- 


Ann of Ava 

tility of the East India Company and find 
a people who would listen to their message? 

One July afternoon their deliberations met 
with a vigorous interruption. An official 
messenger arrived at Serampore bearing a 
summons for Mr. Judson and Mr. Newell 
to present themselves immediately at the 
police office in Calcutta. There, an order 
from the Governor-general was read to them, 
commanding them to return to America upon 
the very ship on which they had come, the 
Caravan, then making ready for her west- 
ward voyage. Captain Heard had been re- 
fused a clearance from port unless he gave 
security that his missionary passengers would 
be taken on board. What should they do? 
It was insufferable to think of going home 
before their work was even begun. The dis- 
appointment and humiliation were over- 
whelming, but the belief that God had sent 
them and meant them to remain was un- 

There seemed to be but one way of escape, 
— to seek some other heathen country, out- 
side the jurisdiction of the East India Com- 
pany. So, with sudden, desperate purpose 

Ann of Ava 

they asked permission to embark for the Isle 
of France. The Isle of France, now Mauri- 
tius, was five thousand miles southwest, near 
Madagascar. Their request was granted, and 
on the fourth day of August Samuel Newell 
and his frail wife sailed away from all their 
friends in a small ship bound for Port Louis, 
in the Isle of France. The vessel could 
accommodate but two passengers, and the 
Newells were chosen to go because Har- 
riet's frail health made a home an urgent 

Four months longer Adoniram and Ann 
Judson lingered in Calcutta, living in daily 
dread of summary dismissal from the coun- 
try. Mr. Rolt, an English gentleman, re- 
lieved somewhat their embarrassing predica- 
ment by offering the hospitality of his home. 
There, in his spacious English house, while 
waiting for a way out of their dilemma, the 
greatest of their many perplexities assailed 

They were confronted by a troublesome 
problem which could not be evaded, and 
which pressed daily upon their minds for so- 
lution. On shipboard, while making the long 


Ann of Ava 

voyage of four months from America to 
India, they had first grappled with the ques- 
tion of the Baptist belief as distinguished 
from that of the Congregationalists, and Mr. 
Judson's old convictions had become strangely 
disturbed. At first Mrs. Judson took the 
opposite side in argument and declared with 
her old independence, " If you become a 
Baptist, I will not." 

During the first weeks on shore the ques- 
tion was silenced by the more urgent demand 
for home and shelter. But in the long sum- 
mer days in Calcutta, in the seclusion of Mr. 
Rolt's library, the subject recurred with 
painful insistence, and they resolved to deal 
conscientiously and thoroughly with its 
claims. The result was that they felt them- 
selves compelled by conviction to withdraw 
from the Congregationalists, with whom their 
lot had been cast since childhood, and to join 
the Baptists. 

In those days communions were more 
sharply divided than to-day, and to change 
from one to another usually meant a heroic 
act of conscience. Especially for the pioneer 
missionaries was it a difficult and brave de- 

Ann of Ava 

cision. They could hardly expect the con- 
tinued support of the Congregationalists, nor 
could they confidently look to the Baptists 
for financial aid, since that denomination was 
not organized for missionary activity. Where 
should they turn? Supporters and friends 
would be likely to misinterpret their action. 
Even their own families, when removed by 
so great a distance, might find their decision 
hard to understand and accept. Hardest of 
all they would probably have to be separated 
in future work from their companions, those 
old schoolmates and friends who had come to 
India with them. " A renunciation of our 
former sentiments has caused us more pain 
than anything which has ever happened to us 
through our lives," wrote Mrs. Judson in a 
home letter. 

One happy surprise came to relieve their 
downcast condition. To the amazement of 
all his associates, Luther Rice quietly an- 
nounced his intention to join the Baptists. 
In the secrecy of his own thoughts he had 
been dealing with the question, and his con- 
clusion was thus reached independently of 
outside influence. It was a great solace to 


Ann of Ava 

the Judsons in their lonely outlook to have 
the assurance of his companionship in their 
new mission, wherever it might be. 

Another strong encouragement came from 
the splendid generosity of the missionaries at 
Serampore. They held a consultation and 
agreed to supply funds for the American 
missionaries out of their own treasury in case 
money did not arrive from America when 
needed. They would advance the sums re- 
quired, and if the American societies could 
reimburse them, well and good, if not, they 
would count it a gift to the cause of Christ. 

Mr. Rolt was unfailing in his interest and 
sympathy with the young people who had 
come so many thousands of miles from home 
on a mission of good-will, and had met such a 
frosty reception at the hands of government 
authorities. They continued to be his guests 
until late in November, when one day, about 
Thanksgiving time at home in New England, 
a startling order was brought to the house in 
Calcutta. Mr. and Mrs. Judson and Mr. Rice 
were commanded by the government to em- 
bark at once for England upon a vessel of 
the East India Company. Their names were 

Ann of Ava 

published in the newspaper lists of passengers 
on the England-bound ship. All hope of es- 
cape seemed to be cut off this time, but the 
two young men and one young woman were 
not ready to acknowledge themselves beaten 
by the whole East India Company, so again 
they tried to circumvent its order. 

By some means Mr. Judson and Mr. Rolt 
discovered that a ship named the Creole 
would sail in two days for the Isle of France. 
They applied to the chief magistrate for a 
passport, but he refused them. They then 
asked the captain if he would take them on 
board without a pass. He replied: "There 
is my ship, do as you please." With Mr. 
Rolt's assistance they secured coolies to carry 
their baggage, and at midnight " stole like 
criminals " through the deserted streets of 
Calcutta, through the gates of the dockyards, 
which, contrary to night rules, opened to 
admit them, and on board the forbidden ves- 
sel. The next morning the Creole sailed out 
of Calcutta harbor, down the Hoogly river 
toward the Bay of Bengal and the open sea. 

For two days all was well on shipboard, 
but toward evening of the second day, a 


Ann of Ava 

government dispatch overtook them forbid- 
ding the pilot to proceed since there were 
passengers on the ship who had been ordered 
to England. The pursued passengers must 
needs leave the vessel at once, even in the 
darkness of evening, so the two young men 
entered a small boat to go on shore to a 
tavern about a mile away. The captain, with 
the gallantry born of the sight of a lovely 
woman in distress, bade Mrs. Judson spend 
the night on the ship, where their baggage 
also would be allowed to remain. It would 
be quite safe for her he assured her, even 
though an officer should come to search the 

Through the night and the next day the 
Creole lay at anchor waiting for orders. 
When evening came, Mrs. Judson also was 
forced to depart hurriedly for land. The 
owner of the ship heard of its detention and 
went to police headquarters to inquire the 
reason. There he was informed that " it was 
suspected there were persons on board whom 
the captain had been forbidden to receive." 
The ship could not proceed until it was 
proved that no such parties were among the 

Ann of Ava 

passengers. Mrs. Judson hastened on shore 
in a small boat while the pilot wrote a cer- 
tificate that the suspected people were not 
on the ship. 

At the tavern ^Irs. Judson found her hus- 
band and Mr. Rice and in tense anxiety 
they consulted as to their next move. What 
should they do? Escape on the Creole was 
now hopelessly blocked without a passport. 
Return to Calcutta would be but a confes- 
sion of defeat. Where was the way out of 
this labyrinth of perplexities? Mr. Rice de- 
cided to start for Calcutta at once, to make 
one more effort to secure a pass. Mr. and 
Mrs. Judson spent the night and the next 
day at the tavern, watching in vain for a 
message from the ship where their baggage 
still remained, and dreading lest every 
European in sight was spying upon their 
movements. Mr. Rice came back from Cal- 
cutta to report another refusal. The owner 
of the ship was in high dudgeon because his 
vessel was delayed so long on their account. 
" Perplexed on every side, yet not unto 
despair," because, as Harriet Newell once 
said: "He who takes care of the ravens will 


Ann of Ava 

not forsake his own children in the hour of 
their affliction." 

Another uneasy night at the tavern and 
in the morning a disquieting message from 
the captain of the Creole! He was per- 
mitted to sail, but they must remove their 
baggage from the ship at once. It seemed 
unwise to linger longer at the tavern, so 
they decided to journey on to another little 
Indian inn sixteen miles down the river. It 
would be hazardous for the two men to show 
themselves on the prohibited vessel, so JNIrs. 
Judson went alone on board the Creole and 
made arrangements for the transfer of their 
baggage. As she could find no small boat, 
she asked the captain if the baggage might 
be left where it was until the next tavern was 
reached. Not only did he readily consent, 
but invited Mrs. Judson to make the journey 
herself on his vessel, saying that the river 
trip in a small craft would be exceedingly 

Again she hurried on shore to notify her 

companions of this change of plan. For the 

second time Mr. Rice set out for Calcutta to 

secure passage, if possible, for Ceylon. Mr. 


Ann of Ava 

Judson hired a boat for his own transporta- 
tion down the river to the tavern appointed. 
Meanwhile, ]Mrs. Judson returned to the 
Creole in the pilot's boat which he had 
courteously sent on shore for her use. It 
was an exciting and dangerous chase after 
the ship which had slipped rapidly down 
stream with the tide. The river was rough 
because of the high wind, and the tropical 
sun blistering in its rays of heat. The 
native rowers hoisted a sail so large that 
repeatedly it tilted the boat on one side. 
To allay the fears of their fair lady passen- 
ger they kept repeating, " Cutcha pho annah, 
sahib, cutcha pho annah" " Never fear, 
madam, never fear." 

Safely at last they came alongside the 
large vessel, hastened on board, and soon 
stopped opposite the uninviting old tavern 
to which Mrs. Judson must go alone. Again 
the pilot offered his boat to convey her on 
shore. There, with all speed, she arranged 
for another boat to go out to the Creole to 
remove their baggage. Finally, the neces- 
sary business done, she turned hesitatingly 
toward the thatched tavern which must har- 

Ann of Ava 

bor her, welcome or not, until her husband 
should arrive. 

Longer than it has taken us to recount 
these adventures, did Ann Judson have to 
watch and wait for the coming of her hus- 
band. Several hours dragged by before he 
appeared at the entrance of the tavern and 
eagerly sought his wife. Thankfully the two 
greeted each other, their relief at their mutual 
safety overcoming for a time anxiety for 
the future. 

Quickly, however, they began to strain 
every nerve of thought to find a way out of 
their present dilemma. Should they, after 
all, return to Calcutta and face the worst, 
or should they confide in the tavernkeeper 
and seek his assistance? Anything seemed 
preferable to a retreat to the city which had 
exiled them, so they asked the innkeeper if 
he could help them secure a passage to 
Ceylon? He replied that a captain who was 
a friend of his was due on the morrow, and 
that very likely he might take them on his 
ship bound for Madras. Encouraged by this 
possibility and by the safe arrival of their 
baggage, they waited two days at the tavern, 

Ann of Ava 

during which time JNIr. Rice rejoined his 
companions. On the third day the looked- 
for vessel anchored directly opposite the 
tavern. The innkeeper went on board to 
intercede on behalf of his fugitive guests, but 
returned with the refusal of the captain to 
receive them as passengers. Thereupon they 
resolved to interview the stubborn captain 
themselves and beg for leniency. With this 
slender hope in mind, they sat down to sup- 
per when a letter was handed to them I 
They felt as if an actual miracle had been 
wrought when they foiind that the letter 
contained a pass from the chief magistrate 
for embarkation on the Creole for the Isle 
of France. " Who procured this pass for 
us, or in what way, we are still ignorant: 
we could only view the hand of God and 
wonder." Thus wrote Mrs. Judson in a 
long home letter detailing her many ad- 

Then followed a frantic pursuit of the 
Creole^ which they feared might be already 
out at sea, since she had three days' start. 
It was just possible that she might be an- 
chored at Saugur, seventy miles down stream, 


Ann of Ava 

at the entrance of the Hoogly river. At any 
rate, they must make the venture and hasten 
the pursuit. As soon as darkness fell the 
three fugitives hurried into a small boat and 
pushed out against the tide for their race to 
safety. All that night JNIrs. Judson watched 
with wide-open eyes by the side of her hus- 
band, who slept peacefully until morning. 

The next day wind and tide sped them on 
their way, and by nightfall Saugur was in 
sight with the masts of many ships at anchor. 
Was the Creole among them, or had she al- 
ready crossed the invisible boundary between 
river and bay and sailed beyond recall ? With 
eager eyes they scanned the boats and, joy 
to behold — there was the Creole in their 
midst! For two days she had been anchored 
at Saugur waiting for members of her crew. 
" I never enjoyed a sweeter moment in my 
life than that when I was sure we were in 
sight of the Creole!' wrote Ann Judson to 
the Hasseltine house in Bradford. 



SOMETIMES it happens that the love- 
liest scene in nature becomes the back- 
ground of the most woful tragedy. 
The Isle of France, for natural beauty, was 
among the most charming of the islands of the 
Indian Ocean. Blue, blue sky was reflected 
in the waters of the reef-bound harbor, and 
filmy clouds brooded upon the summits of the 
mountains. Gleaming springs flashed like 
quicksilver down the shadowy mountainsides, 
and the scarlet and blue blossoms of the 
climbing plant hung from the dark cliffs. In 
the woods and valleys grew lemon and orange 
trees, date and coco palms, and a tangle of 
brightly-colored, fragrant flowers. 

It was this setting of tropical verdure which 
Saint Pierre chose for his tragic and true 
tale. Paid and Virginia. It was in the city 
of Port Louis, at the foot of the moun- 
tain which sheltered in a rock-bound vale the 
cabin of Paul and Virginia, that, one hun- 
dred years later, Samuel and Harriet Newell 


Ann of Ava 

met the tragedy of their young lives. Here, 
also, Ann and Adoniram Judson came too 
late to succor their friends in their hour of 

In January, 1813, after nearly two months 
of contrary winds and rough seas, the Creole 
sailed into the harbor of Port Louis and 
dropped anchor. On deck Mrs. Judson stood 
with her husband and Mr. Rice, gazing at 
the fairyland scene before them, wondering 
if there at last they would find the home 
they had sought so many months in vain, 
wondering too, how soon they would greet 
Samuel and Harriet Newell and with them 
compare adventures of the past and pros- 
pects for the future. As they lingered on 
the ship waiting for some means of trans- 
portation to shore, a young man came on 
board to welcome them, but so slow and 
reluctant was his step, so changed and hag- 
gard his face, they scarcely recognized their 
old friend, Samuel Newell. Before he could 
speak Ann Judson read the tale which his 
sorrowful, beseeching eyes revealed. Har- 
riet, his own beloved Harriet had left him — 
alone in the world. In broken snatches, 

Ann of Ava 

then and later, he told his friends of his 
bitter loss. 

The ship on which the Newells had taken 
passage from Calcutta the August before 
had been battered unmercifully by winds and 
waves, so that the voyage lengthened into 
three anxious months. Far out on the Indian 
ocean a baby girl was born in the little cabin 
on the ship's deck and given her mother's 
name, Harriet Atwood. For a few days 
joy and hope abounded in the hearts of the 
parents, but speedily cold and rain fell upon 
the ill-fated ship, and the baby, unable to 
endure the exposure, died in her mother's 
arms. After the child's death Harriet showed 
the first signs of the fatal disease which 
rapidly consumed her life. 

When at length the dreadful voyage was 
over and the belated ship came to port, a 
British surgeon and a Danish physician min- 
istered to the sick wife, but to no avail. 
Gradually her strength waned until the last 
flicker of hope for her recovery vanished. 
Night and day Samuel Newell sat by the 
bedside of his dear one trying to catch every 
precious word she spoke. Her thoughts 


Ann of Ava 

seemed to dwell with perfect restfulness upon 
Christ and heaven, recurring sometimes to 
her mother across the seas in the Atwood 
homestead in Haverhill. " Tell my dear 
mother," she said, " how much Harriet loved 
her. Tell her to look to God and keep near 
to him and he will support and comfort her 
in all her trials. Tell my brothers and sisters, 
from the lips of their dying sister, that there 
is nothing but religion worth living for. 
Tell them, and also my dear mother, that 
I have never regretted leaving my native 
land for the cause of Christ." 

One afternoon in November, the blindness 
of death sealed Harriet's brown eyes, and 
there, in the little mud-walled cottage, she 
quietly breathed her last. Throughout that 
awful night Samuel Newell watched beside 
his dead, a Negro servant his only companion 
in the silent house. In a land of strangers, 
without one friend to weep with him, he fol- 
lowed the body of his wife to the graveyard 
of Port Louis, where, in the heathy ground, 
under an evergreen tree which suggested her 
New England home, was buried the young 
woman who was the first American to give 

Ann of Ava 

her life for the cause of Christ in the non- 
Christian world. 

Ann Judson's thoughts turned mournfully 
toward that burial spot which was the symbol 
of her welcome in the Isle of France. Who 
could have thought that death would so 
speedily claim one of their little band, whose 
lives were all the more precious to one another 
because they were so few in number and so 
immeasurably far from home? With but 
small assurance that this far-away island was 
to be their permanent home, the Judsons 
settled themselves in Port Louis and waited 
for some unmistakable signs of God's guid- 
ance. As they waited, they watched for 
opportunities to serve the need of the people 
about them. On Sunday Mr. Judson or 
Mr. Rice preached to the British soldiers 
stationed on the island. The governor was 
friendly and would permit a Christian mission 
to be establislied, even though he had received 
warning from the British government at 
Bengal to " keep an eye upon those Ameri- 
can missionaries." Moreover, there was con- 
vincing evidence of the ignorance and degra- 
dation of the inhabitants of the island. 


Ann of Ava 

One evening there was a hideous commo- 
tion in the courtyard which adjoined the Jud- 
sons' house in Port Louis. A Negro slave 
stood with her hands tied behind her back 
while her mistress beat her unmercifully with 
a club. Promptly Mrs. Judson opened her 
door and ventured upon the scene. In broken 
French she begged the cruel mistress to stop 
beating her slave. Surprised by the inter- 
ruption and by the gentle beauty of the 
strange lady, the woman ceased her blows 
but angrily insisted that the servant was very 
bad and had recently run away. Mrs. Jud- 
son talked quietly with the enraged mistress 
until her anger seemed to be appeased, al- 
though, as a parting taunt, she hurled her 
club at the slave's head with such force that 
blood ran down upon the girl's clothes. All 
night the poor creature was left with her 
hands tied behind her back, and in the morn- 
ing she was released and set to work. 

The second night the clank of an iron 
chain was heard as it was dragged across 
the courtyard. From her quarters in the 
neighboring house Mrs. Judson saw, to her 
horror, that the heavy chain was intended for 

Ann of Ava 

the unfortunate slave. To one end of the 
long chain was fastened a ring large enough 
to be locked around her neck, and to the 
ring were attached two pieces of iron which 
would press against her face on either side 
and prevent her eating. The slave girl stood 
trembling as they prepared to put the chain 
upon her. At mere sight of her servant the 
mistress fell into a furious temper and began 
beating her as she had done the night be- 
fore. Again she was intercepted by the firm 
hand and gentle voice of Mrs. Judson. 
" Your servant is very bad, no doubt," she 
said in her pretty foreign accent, " but you 
will be very good to forgive her." Again 
the mistress drew back her club and finally, 
yielding to entreaty, consented to forgive her 
slave and release her from the punishment 
decreed. Emphatically she declared that par- 
don was granted, not out of any consideration 
for the slave, but simply because the Ameri- 
can lady requested it. The terrified Negress 
was made to understand the terms of her 
release. Whereupon she knelt and kissed 
the feet of the fair white lady who had 
saved her, crying, " Merd, madame, merd, 


Ann of Ava 

madame." Mrs. Judson could scarcely keep 
back her tears as she received the gratitude of 
the slave girl. She returned to the house 
happy-hearted because she had delivered one 
poor slave from a night of physical misery, 
but at the same time brooding sadly upon the 
spiritual misery which she saw daily in the 
faces of the people about her. 

In JNIarch JNIr. and Mrs. Judson were left 
alone in the Isle of France. Mr. Newell 
departed for Ceylon, away from the scene 
of his desolated life, and Mr. Rice actually 
sailed for America, the dear homeland which 
grew dearer every day. He was going back 
to tell the Baptist churches, what letters could 
never adequately tell, that the heathen peo- 
ples he had seen were in desperate need of 
the knowledge of Christ, and that over there 
in distant Asia a young man and his wife 
were eagerly waiting to be adopted as the 
first missionaries of the Baptist denomination 
in America. 

Meanwhile, those two young people lin- 
gered in Port Louis watching daily for some 
indication to tell them the place in which God 
had appointed them to live and labor. There 

Ann of Ava 

was some promise of usefulness in the Isle of 
France, yet when they compared its popula- 
tion with that of other regions of the Orient 
they could not feel warranted in remaining. 
The ancient East contained hundreds of mil- 
lions of people, but Christian missionaries 
were not many more in number than the 
original group of twelve whom Christ com- 
missioned to "go and make disciples of all 
the nations." Among " all the nations " of 
Asia where should they find a strategic place 
to establish a Christian mission? This was 
the anxious query which pervaded the spring 
days in the tropic island, and to which the 
summer gave answer unexpected and un- 



WHEN Nancy Hasseltine was a 
gay, restless schoolgirl her mother 
once reproved her by saying, " I 
hope, my daughter, you will one day be sat- 
isfied with rambling." Little did the girl or 
mother dream how literally those words 
would be fulfilled. From the day in June 
when Mr. and Mrs. Judson went on shore 
from the Caravan in Calcutta harbor, for a 
whole long year they knew little else but 
rambling, — incessant traveling from place 
to place in weary, anxious search for some 
spot they would be allowed to call home. 
They had now embarked from the Isle of 
France, intending to settle in Pulo Penang, 
or Prince of Wales' Island, in the Malacca 
Strait, which, since its purchase by the 
British, was receiving a large population of 
Hindus, Chinese, Burmans, and Siamese. No 
ship sailed directly from the Isle of France 
to Penang, so they must needs take passage 
to Madras, expecting to proceed thence to 
the Malacca Strait. 

Ann of Ava 

Early in June the travelers found them- 
selves again in the domains of the East India 
Company which twice before had decreed 
their exile. Their arrival in Madras was 
promptly reported to the police and the» 
report forwarded to the supreme government 
in Bengal. It was plainly to be seen that 
as soon as a return message could reach 
Madras they would be arrested and ordered 
to England. Escape must be immediate and 
final. Several vessels lay at anchor in the 
Madras roads and Mr. Judson anxiously in- 
quired their destination, knowing that the 
direction of those ships soon to sail must 
determine the fate of himself and his wife 
and the new mission. 

Alas, only one would sail in time and that 
one was destined for the port most dreaded, 
most formidable in all the eastern world, 
Rangoon, Burma! The question was now 
brought to an issue decisive and unescapable. 
Burma it must be or Europe and home! 
Which? Yes, which? Should they venture 
into that wild, barbaric country, outside a 
civilized government, inside a despotic mon- 
archy of the most merciless variety? All 


Ann of Ava 

their new-found friends in Madras protested 
against it. The test was stupendous for two 
young people not yet twenty-five years of 
age, and it threw them upon God as their 
only dependence. 

About this time the diary of Ann Judson 
bore a troubled entry: 

" June 20th. We have at last concluded, 
in our distress, to go to Rangoon, as there 
is no vessel about to sail for any other place 
ere it will be too late to escape a second 
arrest. O, our heavenly Father, direct us 
aright! Where wilt thou have us go? What 
wilt thou have us do? Our only hope is in 
thee, and to thee alone we look for protec- 
tion. ... I have been accustomed to view 
this field of labor with dread and terror, but 
I now feel perfectly willing to make it my 
home the rest of my life. . . . To-morrow 
we expect to leave this place and the few 
friends we have found here. Adieu to pol- 
ished, refined. Christian society. Our lot is 
not cast among you, but among pagans, 
among barbarians, whose tender mercies are 
cruel. Indeed, we voluntarily forsake you 

Ann of Ava 

and for Jesus' sake choose the latter for our 

The voyage to Burma proved to be every 
whit as disagreeable as anticipations of the 
country had been. It was the most distress- 
ing and dangerous journey they had ever 
experienced, not excepting Mr. Judson's trip 
to England when he was captured by pirates. 
First of all, a disastrous catastrophe took 
place at the outset of the voyage. Because 
of Mrs. Judson's frail health her friends in 
Madras had procured a European woman 
servant to accompany her to Burma. This 
woman appeared to be in normal condition 
when she went on board the ship, but within 
a few hours after sailing she fell upon the 
floor writhing in convulsions. Mrs. Judson 
labored over her, trying by every means in 
her power to restore her, but all efforts failed 
and after a few gasps she died. 

The shock of the sudden death, together 
with the violent exertion to save the woman's 
life, threw Mrs. Judson into such an excru- 
ciating sickness that she was brought very 
close to death herself. In their uncomfortable 


Ann of Ava 

quarters on shipboard the experience was the 
heaviest hardship they had yet borne. The 
ship Georgianna was a " crazy " old craft, 
dirty, miserable, and unseaworthy. There 
was no stateroom for the two passengers 
except such as was made by canvas protec- 
tion on deck. The wind was blustering and 
the waves choppy. The boat tossed inces- 
santly, its motion bringing agonizing pain to 
the sufferer on deck. 

No physician and no medicines were at 
hand to relieve her distress. The captain 
was the only other person on board who could 
speak English, as the Georgianna was a Por- 
tuguese ship. Mr. Judson was doctor, nurse, 
and companion. As he sat by the prostrate 
form of his wife, helpless to mitigate her 
pain, he realized something of the agony of 
spirit which Samuel Newell endured as he 
watched, unfriended and alone, by the death- 
bed of Harriet in the Isle of France. Ap- 
parently, there was but one way to save the 
life of Ann Judson, and that way seemed 
to be the last and greatest of impossibilities. 
If the tossing boat could be quiet for one 
hour relief might come which would lead to 

Ann of Ava 

recovery. Then it was that God's watchful 
care over his own was beautifully manifested, 
just as Harriet Newell trustfully said: " He 
who takes care of the ravens will not for- 
sake his own children in the hour of their 

The captain came on deck to inform his 
passengers that they had failed to make the 
Nicobar Island, where it was intended to 
take on a cargo of coconuts, and that they 
were in imminent danger of being driven 
upon the Andaman Islands. To escape this 
fate he would have to steer his vessel through 
a narrow strait between two of the islands, 
where he had never been before and which 
was reputed to be a region of great terror 
for men and ships. The coasts were said 
to be inhabited by cannibals who would 
promptly kill and eat every one on board 
if they got a chance. Moreover, the channel 
was beset with perilous, black rocks as deadly 
to passing ships as great icebergs should they 
happen to collide. 

With these gruesome possibilities ahead, 
the ship entered the channel, when suddenly 
the wind ceased and the water became per- 


Ann of Ava 

fectly calm! The islands cut off the wind so 
completely that the narrow passage was like 
a sheltered haven, and the moving vessel al- 
most as quiet as a house on land. The still- 
ness brought immediate relief to Mrs. Judson, 
and to her husband the first shining hope of 
her recovery. Rocks and cannibals were soon 
left behind and the ship, under more favor- 
able winds, sailed on toward port. 

But what a port! It was the 13th day of 
July when the Georgianna entered the harbor 
of Rangoon, Burma. Dismal, doleful, for- 
bidding, funereal — all the unpleasant adjec- 
tives in the dictionary could hardly do jus- 
tice to the city of Rangoon in 1813, especially 
as it was seen from approaching vessels. 
Reaching away from the water's edge was a 
vast, flat swamp, " a sludgy, squdgy creek," 
with tumble-down bamboo huts raised on 
poles above the ground. Everything in sight 
was dilapidated, neglected, filthy. For the 
first time in their travels Mr. and ]Mrs. Jud- 
son saw before them a country in its primi- 
tive, barbaric condition, untouched by Euro- 
pean civilization. The prospect sent a stab 
of terror into their souls. 

Rangoon River Front 

Ann of Ava 

Toward evening JNIr. Judson went on shore 
to reconnoiter, but came back to the ship 
more cast down than his wife had ever seen 
him. The night of their arrival in Rangoon 
marked the bhiest experience of all their 
lives, so they both agreed and recorded in 
their diaries and letters. Afterwards they 
thought that they ought to have rejoiced that 
first night to find themselves actually at the 
haven of their long desire, a thoroughly 
heathen country, and moreover, one which did 
not promptly dismiss them from its shores. 
But at the time, so heavy was the burden of 
loneliness and homesickness that their one 
wish was for speedy death to remove them 
from the hardships of earth into the freedom 
of heaven. Sharing each other's distress the 
husband and wife prayed together and com- 
mitted themselves wholly to the care of their 
watchful God, and by and by peace came 
to their troubled spirits. " Although I have 
cast them far off among the heathen, and al- 
though I have scattered them among the 
countries, yet will I be to them as a little 
sanctuary in the countries where they shall 


Ann of Ava 

The next morning preparations were made 
to go on shore to the city they must learn 
to call home. Mrs. Judson was not able to 
walk, as she had not yet left her bed for 
so long as half an hour. There was no mean^ 
of conveyance except a horse which of course 
she could not ride. Some one's ingenuity 
found a way at last and she was carried off 
the ship in an armchair borne by means of 
bamboo poles on the shoulders of four 

Into the miserable, dirty town, with its 
bamboo and teak houses and its muddy 
creeks, the coolies carried their precious bur- 
den, until, in a shady spot, they halted and 
set down the chair. Instantly, crowds of 
Burmans flocked around to gaze at the 
strange foreign woman. Englishmen were 
no novelty in the streets of this Burmese sea- 
port, but Englishwomen were seldom seen 
and were objects of undisguised curiosity. 
Involuntarily, JNIrs. Judson's head drooped 
with sickness and weakness, and thus some 
native women ventured near enough to peer 
under her bonnet into the pale, lovely face. 
To their wide-eyed scrutiny she returned a 

Ann of Ava 

friendly smile, to which they responded with 
a loud laugh. As the coolies lifted the chair 
to proceed, the onlookers gave a lusty shout 
which seemed to amuse the foreigners. On 
they went to the Rangoon custom-house, 
which was a small, open shed, in which, upon 
mats on the ground, sat several Burmese 
custom officials. Mr. Judson was submitted 
to a thorough search, after which request was 
made that a Burmese woman be allowed to 
search Mrs. Judson, to which she obligingly 
agreed. This ordeal over, the little party 
moved on to the mission house, outside the city 
gates, built by the English Baptists, which 
was to be home for the American missionaries. 
Where now are the green hills and sunny, 
white homesteads of New England? Are 
they but phantoms of memory? And where, 
yes, where is that blithe, beautiful girl, with 
her rosy cheeks and brown curls, who went 
gaily forth to the new academy in Bradford, 
her thoughts filled with the good times in 
which she was always the merry leader? Is 
she, too, a phantom of the past? Or has 
Nancy Hasseltine found her real self in the 
heroic, sacrificial life of Ann Judson? 




RANGOON was a city of importance 
in the Burmese empire despite its 
dilapidated appearance. Besides a 
population of many thousand, it was the gov- 
ernment city of an extensive province, ruled 
by a viceroy who was a high official in the 
kingdom. Two miles north of the city rose 
one of the landmarks of Burma, the great 
Rangoon Pagoda, or Golden Temple of 
Buddha, visible for twenty miles round 
about. It was a tall, glittering structure, 
grotesque in its golden ornamentations and 
colossal in its proportions. At the season of 
the great feast of Gotama or Buddha, multi- 
tudes of people came in boats on the river 
from long distances to worship and present 
offerings at the famous pagoda which was 
supposed to contain a relic of Buddha. Thus 
Rangoon was honored, perhaps second to 
Ava, the royal city, for its government seat 
and its sacred shrine. In years to come it 

The Golden Pagoda 

Ann of Ava 

was destined to rank among the first seaports 
of the Orient, because of its commanding 
location upon a branch of the great Irawadi 
river. Yet, in 1813, for all its governmental 
prestige, for all its pretentious pagoda, it 
was still a miserable, dirty, insanitary town, 
with its glorious possibilities of navigation 
and vegetation unutilized, and even im- 

One day Ann Judson climbed the flight 
of steps leading to the pagoda and was al- 
lowed to walk about the platform. The scene 
appeared to her like fairyland run wild. The 
enchanted castles and ruined abbej^s which 
haunted the images of story-books she had 
read seemed to come to life before her eyes. 
Fantastic images of Buddha, of angels and 
demons, elephants and lions, added a savor 
of barbaric picturesqueness. 

Sometimes, as IMrs. Judson looked up at 
the towering structure from the distance of 
her own home outside the city gates, the 
polished spire among the trees suggested the 
white steeples of Xew England. Then 
would come a swift realization of the awful 
distance, not only in miles, but much more 


Ann of Ava 

in character, between the New England 
church and the Burmese pagoda. Just as 
the meeting-house was the symbol of the 
simple, straightforward life of the early 
American settlers, so this grotesque fane was 
the symbol of the falsehood and degradation 
of the inhabitants of the ancient East. 

In the streets and outskirts of Rangoon the 
two American residents found sufficient evi- 
dence of the wretched condition of the Bur- 
mese people. Many sick and diseased folk 
begged daily their few grains of rice and 
crept back to their only habitation, a piece 
of cloth stretched on four bamboos under- 
neath a shade-tree. Others bowed under a 
heavy yoke of toil, earning thereby but a 
meager pittance the larger part of which 
was snatched away by a greedy government. 
It was part of the government system to pay 
no fixed salaries to its officers but to expect 
them to extort by taxation from the people 
the means for a luxurious living. The vice- 
roy, or governor of a province, was popularly 
known as an " Eater," since his function 
seemed to be to devour the possessions of his 
subjects. Each petty officer divided liis spoil 

Ann of Ava 

with the viceroy, and he in turn with the king, 
whose revenues were unfailing. 

The king's word was absokite law in 
Burma, so that even a high official might be 
beheaded at a moment's notice. At one time 
an officer of the highest rank was seized by 
the public executioner and laid on the ground 
by the side of the road with a heavy weight 
upon his chest and the meridian sun blazing 
relentlessly upon him. After the king's wrath 
was thus appeased the man was restored to 
his former high position. The only way to 
escape punishment, whether innocent or 
guilty, was to pay large bribes to the viceroy. 
Thus everj^body was afraid of everybody else, 
and consequently nobody told the truth. 
" We cannot live without telling lies," they 

Robberies were outrageously daring and 
frequent, especially in times of famine, when 
almost every night houses were broken into 
and thefts or murders committed. The mis- 
sion house, where the Judsons lived, was par- 
ticularly exposed to attacks of robbers and 
wild beasts because of its location outside the 
city walls. Moreover, in the vicinity was the 


Ann of Ava 

place of public execution and of deposit for 
the refuse of the city. It was a gruesome 
locality, but the immediate surroundings of 
the house were unexpectedly pleasant. Be- 
longing to the property was an enclosed gar- 
den abounding in delicious fruits, such as 
oranges, bananas, guavas, pineapples, and the 
jack-fruit and bread-fruit. The house itself 
was built of teak-wood and, though left in 
an unfinished style inside, was large and 
fairly convenient. 

It was on a July morning in 1813 when 
the young American missionary walked be- 
side the impromptu conveyance which carried 
his sick wife from the ship Georgianna to the 
mission house outside the gates of Rangoon. 
There was but one other missionary in Burma 
at the time, Felix Carey, son of the great 
William Carey of Serampore. He and his 
family occupied the Rangoon mission prop- 
erty, though during the summer when the 
Judsons arrived he was away in Ava on 
business for the king. Mrs. Carey was a 
native of Rangoon and she, with her two 
children, received the new missionaries into 
her home. She could speak but little English, 



- - ^ 








Ik J 




^^_l^^__P . 



A Burmese House 

Ann of Ava 

so friendly conversation did not brighten their 
first days in a strange land. Moreover, it 
was a difficult task for an Eastern woman to 
create the home comforts for a Western 
woman trained to such a different mode of 
life. To Mrs. Judson, accustomed to the 
savory cooking of New England, the Bur- 
mese food was a daily trial. Bread and but- 
ter and potatoes were constantly missed, and 
the rice and milk and curried fowl which 
formed the staple diet were always unsatisfy- 
ing. Yet, " instead of mourning that we have 
no more of the comforts of life, we have great 
reason to be thankful that we have so many," 
wrote the undaunted Ann. Considering the 
handicaps of food, climate, and discomforts, 
INIrs. Judson recovered her health with sur- 
prising rapidity, and never at any time did 
the man or woman become shaken in their 
firm intention to remain in heathen Burma. 
As Mr. Judson said, " we soon began to find 
that it was in our hearts to live and die with 
the Burmans." Through the many vicissi- 
tudes of the past year and a half they had 
learned the lesson that God is always on the 
side of those who do their duty, and that his 


Ann of Ava 

help is mightier than any human aid or 
human need. 

Immediately upon settling in their new 
home, Mr. and ]\Irs. Judson began to study 
the Burmese language, which, as a study, was 
worse than higher mathematics, Sanskrit, and 
Hebrew put together. To learn a dead lan- 
guage like Greek or Latin, or a living lan- 
guage like French or German, as it is taught 
in school or college to-day, is like kinder- 
garten play compared with mastering a liv- 
ing, Oriental language, mastering it until it 
is as familiar as your native speech. ^lore- 
over, to attempt, as the Judsons did, to ac- 
quire a language without an adequate dic- 
tionary or grammar or even a teacher who 
understands a word of your own speech, and 
with dried palm leaves covered with obscure 
scratches your only text-book, such a task 
might well be reckoned among the twelve 
labors of Hercules. After studying Burmese 
for more than a year, INIr. Judson still insisted 
that if he had his choice of being examined 
in a Burmese book or in a book in the French 
language which he had studied for about two 
months, he would without the least hesitation 

Ann of Ava 

choose the French. So much for the intricacy 
of the Burmese language! 

When the native teacher first came to the 
mission house he rebelled against accepting 
the missionary's wife as a pupil. In his 
country a teacher's skill was considered 
wasted if bestowed upon such an inferior 
being as woman. But when he saw that the 
husband was as eager to have his wife taught 
as himself, the teacher changed his tactics. 
From seven in the morning until ten at night 
the two determined students applied them- 
selves to their task, going to bed as tired as 
they had ever been in all their lives. 

Every day and all day they studied and 
studied, their only recreation being a walk 
in the garden or adjoining village, their 
only society found in each other. No word 
from home had yet reached them and they 
had been absent a year and a half. As fam- 
ished as the starving people they saw about 
them were they when at last, a whole year 
later, — two years and a half after leaving 
America^ — the first home letter was laid in 
their hands! Mrs. Judson was the only woman 
in the Burmese empire who could speak Eng- 


Ann of Ava 

lish, and of course there were no Christians 
outside the mission household in the entire 
country of perhaps eight milHon people. This 
was the situation in which the woman found 
herself who, only a few years before, had been 
the merrymaker of Bradford, the girl whose 
beauty and cleverness were bywords in the 
valley of the Merrimac. " Exposed to rob- 
bers by night and invaders by day," wrote 
this same girl in her journal, dated Rangoon, 
August 8, 1813, " yet we both unite in saying 
we never were happier, never more contented 
in any situation, than the present. We feel 
that this is the post to which God hath ap- 
pointed us; that we are in the path of duty; 
and in a situation, which, of all others, pre- 
sents the most extensive field of usefulness." 

On the 19th of September, 1813, the two 
young missionaries, man and wife, partook 
together of the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper, just as Samuel and Harriet Newell 
had united in the sacred service in the Isle 
of France the Sabbath before Harriet's death. 
Thus, in the mission house of Rangoon, with 
two lonely foreigners as participants, was 
born the Christian Church of Burma which 

Ann of Ava 

to-day, a hundred years later, numbers sixty- 
five thousand people in its membership and 
over nine hundred church organizations. 

Among her early experiences in Rangoon 
one of the most entertaining befell Mrs. Jud- 
son on the day she made her first call upon 
the wife of the viceroy, introduced by a 
French lady who lived in the city and was a 
frequent visitor at the government house. 
When the two guests arrived lier highness 
had not yet arisen and they must await her 
pleasure. JNIeantime, the secondary wives of 
the viceroy diverted and amused them. They 
gathered like so many children around the 
two foreigners, examining their clothes, try- 
ing on their gloves and bonnets and mani- 
festing the most absurd curiosity. 

At last the vice-reine appeared clad in rich 
Burmese attire and smoking a long, silver 
pipe. As she entered the room the other 
wives retreated to a respectful distance and 
crouched on the floor, not daring to speak 
unless addressed. The honored first wife 
went forward to greet her guests and looked 
interestedly into the face of the beautiful 
stranger, the wife of the American teacher. 


Ann of Ava 

Graciously she took her by the hand and 
led her to a seat upon the mat where she sat 
herself. One of her women in waiting pre- 
sented a bunch of flowers and the vice-reine 
removed several blossoms and ornamented 
Mrs. Judson's bonnet. She then plied her 
with many questions, especially concerning 
herself and her husband. Was she the first 
wife, meaning was she the highest among the 
many wives she supposed Mr. Judson pos- 
sessed as did her husband? Did they intend 
remaining long in the country? 

As they talked, the viceroy himself made 
a pompous entry into the room. ^Irs. Jud- 
son literally trembled as she saw the huge, 
savage-looking man, with his long, heavy 
robe and his spear large enough for Goliath 
of Gath. This ferocious being was not only 
the ruler of their city, but a man high in 
favor at the proud court of Ava, a man 
who had only to nod his head and his sub- 
jects were pardoned or beheaded. Yet he 
too greeted the American lady with surpris- 
ing graciousness, and asked her if she would 
drink some rum or wine. As the guests rose 
to depart, the vice-reine again took Mrs. 

Ann of Ava 

Judson's hand, assuring her that she was 
happy to see her and bidding her come every 
day. She then escorted her visitors to the 
door, where they made their salaams and 
went away, the ordeal of a state visit in 
Burma over for that time. Mrs. Judson had 
decided to make this call hoping thereby to 
gain a friendly acquaintance with the vice- 
reine, which, in case of trouble with the Bur- 
mans, would admit her to the wife when Mr. 
Judson might be refused access to so august 
a personage as the viceroy himself. It re- 
mains to be seen how the charm of per- 
sonality which was Mrs. Judson's heritage 
from girlhood won for her and her husband 
marvelous favors from the haughty nobility 
of Burma. 

As a further precaution against danger in 
those unsettled times, Mr. and Mrs. Judson 
concluded, after six months' residence in the 
outskirts, to move into a house within the 
city wall. By so doing they would not only 
escape unnecessary peril of robbers, but would 
come in closer contact with the people. Only 
seven days after they left the mission house 
a band of fifteen or twenty desperate men, 


Ann of Ava 

armed with knives, spears, and guns, attacked 
a house in the neighborhood, stabbed the 
owner, and departed with everything upon 
which they could lay their hands. The vice- 
roy was so enraged at this bold plunder that 
he dispatched a chief officer with three hun- 
dred men to run down the thieves, with the 
result that seven robbers were put to death 
in most brutal fashion at the place of public 

Two months after this consternation spread 
through the city, another alarming event 
made the missionaries realize the uncertainty 
of existence in a heathen city. On a Sunday 
morning in March they walked out to the 
mission house to spend the day in quiet wor- 
ship, as was their weekly habit. As they 
reached the house, a servant met them with 
the news that a fire was raging near the town. 
They hurried to the spot and found several 
houses burning briskly and the flames travel- 
ing in straight course toward the city. No 
efforts whatsoever were made to extinguish 
the fire, so there was reason to suppose the 
whole town would be consumed. They has- 
tened to the gates in order to enter the city 

Ann of Ava 

and return to their house in time to remove 
their belongings, but lo, the gates were tightly 
closed! The poor, terrified people had shut 
the gates imagining, like foolish children, that 
they could thus shut out the flames, even 
though gates and walls were made wholly of 
wood. Mr. and Mrs. Judson waited per- 
sistently until at last the gates were opened, 
and they hurried home to gather up their pos- 
sessions and transfer them swiftly to the 
mission house beyond the zone of danger. All 
day the fire burned and burned until walls, 
gates, and houses innumerable were destroyed, 
and thousands of families were shelterless. 

Thus, fire and robbers and dangers un- 
dreamed surrounded the two missionaries. 
But they went about the day's work undis- 
mayed. The golden shrine of Buddha, the 
old Rangoon pagoda, looked indifferently 
down upon the confused, distressed life of 
the people in the city, a silent witness of the 
powerlessness of Buddhism to save its fol- 
lowers. In the hearts of the two strangers 
in their midst burned the message of a God 
of love who alone could redeem the people of 
Burma from bondage. 



IT was a January day in 1815, and prep- 
arations for departure were being made 
in the Judson household in Rangoon. 
Who could be going away, and where? Was 
it possible that they were both leaving Burma, 
having given up the mission as a hopeless 
task? That did not seem likely, and more- 
over the house was in its usual condition, its 
furnishings undisturbed. One small trunk 
stood ready for removal to the ship, and 
presently Mrs. Judson came in dressed for a 
journey. Evidently she was the traveler, and 
her husband was to be left behind. Never 
since their marriage had they been parted for 
any length of time, and the peculiar circum- 
stances of their isolated life had made them 
unusually dependent upon each other. Now, 
however, they must face a separation of two 
or three months at least, and the prospect 
was doleful indeed. 

Mrs. Judson was about to sail for Madras 
to consult a physician, as her health was 

Ann of Ava 

breaking down under the climate and priva- 
tions of Burma, and no medical help was 
available there. She had refused to permit 
her husband to accompany her, as the new mis- 
sion would suffer too much from the absence 
of them both. They were just beginning to 
make themselves understood in the Burmese 
language, and a few people were turning a 
listening ear to the story of a God who cared, 
though they but dimly comprehended the 
meaning of the strangely beautiful message. 
These first signs of a harvest to come were 
too precious to neglect, and the language 
must be all the more arduously studied in 
order to make the story plain to the bewil- 
dered people. 

When it was decided that Mrs. Judson 
must go to JMadras, she and her husband 
ventured one day into the presence of the 
viceroy of Rangoon with an unusual petition. 
They offered a small present, as was custom- 
ary in Burma when seeking a favor from 
those in authority. The viceroy looked at 
their gift and inquired their business, where- 
upon Mr. Judson made bold to ask if a 
Burmese woman might be allowed to travel 


Ann of Ava 

with Mrs. Judson across the Bay of Bengal 
to INIadras. This was indeed an extraordi- 
nary request, for did not the Burmese law 
prohibit the departure of a native woman 
from the country? Yet, marvelous to relate, 
the viceroy turned instantly to his writer and 
bade him make out an official, order, giving 
the desired permit and eliminating all ex- 
pense. It may be that something of the 
indomitable courage shining in the eyes of 
the frail woman before him appealed to the 
heart of the arrogant Burmese ruler and 
moved him to show such amazing condescen- 
sion. At any rate the husband and wife, 
as they went away from the government 
house, felt humbly grateful to God for this 
encouragement at the outset of the journey. 

The second dread was the thought of re- 
peating that voyage across the Bay of Bengal 
which in the summer of 1813 had brought 
such unforgetable distress. Here, again, 
difficulties vanished, thanks to the gallant 
thoughtfulness of the ship's captain. Not 
only did he provide every necessity for his in- 
valid passenger, but at the end of the voyage 
refused to accept payment for her passage. 

Ann of Ava 

Kindnesses on every side smoothed the 
way for the traveler, and none the less in 
Madras, where Ann Judson was well re- 
membered. It was nearly two years since 
she first came to Madras, there to be con- 
fronted with the horrible possibility of a 
home in Burma, that countr}'^ of which she 
said she had heard such " frightful accounts." 
Though the prospect sent a shiver to her soul 
she raised no protest, because, as people said 
of her, her loyal resolve was to go anywhere 
for Christ. Such steadfastness is not lightly 
forgotten. When she came again to Madras 
her old friends received her into their homes 
and many delighted to do her honor. After 
a stay of six weeks she prepared to return 
to Burma, her health having perceptibly im- 
proved. Before leaving she sent a fee of 
seventy rupees to the physician who had at- 
tended her, which amount he promptly re- 
turned with the message that he was happy 
if he had been serviceable to her. 

To Rangoon again, and how eager is the 
anticipation compared with the dreary fore- 
bodings of the first voyage to Burma! But 
who is this new, small passenger who goes 


Ann of Ava 

with Mrs. Judson on board the vessel in 
Madras roads? A little girl stands by her 
side on the ship's deck and waves good-by to 
the friends on shore. Is she really going 
home with JNIrs. Judson, and who can she be? 
The mystery is easily solved if you will go 
back and meet some of Mrs. Judson's friends 
in JMadras. During her two visits to the city 
she had experienced the kindness lavished 
upon missionaries by a young man named 
Von Someren, son of a major in the Dutch 
army. Often he would go down to the ships 
lying in Madras roads and insist upon claim- 
ing the missionaries who arrived as his guests. 
He would entertain them in his spacious 
house, advise' them in their business negotia- 
tions, and speed them on their way up coun- 
try or across seas. In his home lived three 
orphan children, small cousins who had been 
left to his guardianship after the death of 
their parents. The youngest, Emily Von 
Someren, became very dear to Mrs. Judson 
and when she thought of returning to Burma 
she longed to take the little girl with her. 
One day she made known her desire to INIr. 
Von Someren, and willingly he entrusted his 

Ann of Ava 

ward, then seven years old, to the care of 
the woman he admired so deeply. Thus it 
came about that a small companion sailed 
back to Burma with IVIrs. Judson. 

JMeanwhile, over in Rangoon a young man 
was working unceasingly, that he might in 
some measure forget the loneliness of his de- 
serted home. From early morning until late 
evening he gave himself to language-study, 
his only respite being a conversation with the 
natives, which was really study in another 
form. There was scarcely a single person in the 
Burmese empire with whom he could talk 
sympathetically as friend to friend, and with 
whom he could enter into the deeper fellow- 
ship of prayer. His loneliness was enormous, 
and accentuated by contrast the richness of 
his companionship with the wife who shared 
so completely his interests and his great ab- 
sorbing purpose. When her ship should sail 
into the harbor, the joy of living would come 
again into his heart. 

Thus, when the spring days returned, new 
signs of life and activity returned also to the 
mission house in Rangoon. A woman's step, 
buoyant with the rebound of health, was 


Ann of Ava 

heard about the house and tones of a childish 
voice reached the open, veranda-like room 
where Mr. Judson and his teacher sat at 
study. The dry old Burmese language be- 
came newly vitalized by the accompaniment of 
these homelike sounds. Mrs. Judson had long 
ago taken upon herself the entire management 
of the household, that her husband might be 
left free for uninterrupted study. Her own 
lessons thus became interspersed with fre- 
quent digressions into household affairs, but 
these very digressions proved in the end her 
quickest means of acquiring a vocabulary. 
Often in her contact with the servants she 
would be obliged to talk Burmese all day. 
The small Emily picked up Burmese words 
and phrases day by day, until she too could 
speak the language and sing the songs. Al- 
though she lived in the country but six years, 
yet to the end of her life she could speak 
and write Burmese. One hymn which she 
frequently sang in after life always brought 
the tears to her eyes, though she could never 
tell why. 

So those busy days of spring and summer 
led on to an autumn of surpassing happiness. 

Ann of Ava 

As a forerunner of the great joy before them, 
good news came traveling across the seas 
from America to bring thanksgiving into the 
little household in Rangoon. At last, after 
three years of waiting, came the assurance 
that the Baptist churches of America had 
accepted Mr. and ]Mrs. Judson as their first 
missionaries and assumed responsibility for 
their support. A burden also was lifted from 
the English missionaries at Serampore, who 
all this time had been supplying funds for 
the two Americans, according to their gen- 
erous promise, but out of meager resources. 
Not in vain had Luther Rice sailed back 
to his native land to tell the story of what 
his eyes had seen in the needy countries of 
the Orient. In INIay, 1814, a second history- 
making assembly had been held in the United 
States similar to the eventful gathering in 
Bradford in June, 1810. From JNIassachu- 
setts to Georgia the Baptist ministers had 
rallied their forces in conference at Philadel- 
phia and had there organized the second for- 
eign missionary society of America, known 
originally as the Triennial Convention, later 
as the American Baptist Foreign Missionary 


Ann of Ava 

Society. The new mission board not only 
guaranteed support for jNIr. and JMrs. Jud- 
son, but held out the hope that some glad 
day other missionaries would be sent to labor 
beside them. Perhaps in some wonderful 
future the Baptist denomination of America 
might accept from the hands of its pioneer 
missionaries the whole country of Burma to 
develop for the great King, just as formerly 
the governments of Europe received from the 
claims of their pioneer discoverers whole terri- 
tories in North America to develop for the 
sovereigns at whose will they had gone across 
the Atlantic. 

There in the frontier home in Rangoon 
two lonely settlers were comforted by the 
knowledge that they were not forgotten by 
Christians in America. This glad sense of 
relief prepared the way for the blessing which 
came into their home on the 11th day of 
September, when a little son was born, the 
only child of foreign parents in the city of 
Rangoon. Although no doctor or nurse could 
be secured for the young mother, her hus- 
band ministering to all her needs, yet two 
weeks' time found her writing home, " Since 

Ann of Ava 

the birth of our Httle son my health has been 
much better than for two years before. I 
feel now almost in a new state of existence. 
Our hands are full, and though our prospects 
in regard to the immediate conversion of the 
Burmans are dark, yet our trust in God is 
strong." In that same letter, after wishing 
that her mother might see her sprightly little 
boy, she went on to say, " We hope his life 
may be preserved and his heart sanctified, 
that he may become a missionary among the 

Even his name embodied his parents' hopes 
for his manhood, for he was named in mem- 
ory of a dauntless pioneer missionary in the 
New England colonies, Roger Williams. 
Into every day of that autumn and winter 
the baby Roger, by his sunny presence, 
brought something of the spell and brightness 
of Christmas. He was the plaything, pet, 
and cherished companion of his busy parents, 
and, baby that he was, he seemed to feel in 
his little heart a return of the affection lav- 
ished upon him. Often he would lie for hours 
on a mat by Mr. Judson's study table, con- 
tent if only he could see his father's face. If 


Ann of Ava 

his mother or father passed his cradle without 
taking him up his bhie eyes would follow 
them wistfully to the door, and fill with tears, 
so that, constrained by the sadness of that 
little face, they would have to turn back to 
the cradle. When study hours were over they 
hastened to find Roger to take him into the 
garden for exercise and for their own joy- 
ous recreation. There was no such specter 
as loneliness existent when the baby was their 

Thus the winter days sped happily by, but 
when spring came again anxiety crept grad- 
ually into the mother's heart. Every night 
a touch of fever flushed the little body, but 
since the daytime found him apparently 
healthy and active, they hoped the fever 
would disappear with that bugbear of baby- 
hood, teething. One morning, after his 
mother had taken him from liis cradle, he 
coughed violently for half an hour. A high 
fever followed and continued through the day, 
though giving place on the morrow to re- 
freshing sleep. The third day the cough and 
fever returned and a Portuguese priest, the 
only person of medical pretensions in the 

Ann of Ava 

place, was summoned. He prescribed some 
simple remedies, but they brought no relief 
to the strange distress in the baby's throat, 
which caused such hard breathing it could be 
heard some distance away. During the fourth 
night the mother sat beside her sick child 
until two o'clock, when she was so fatigued 
that the father relieved her watch. He gave 
the little fellow a drink of milk which he took 
with eagerness and then fell asleep in his 
cradle. For half an hour he slept quietly, 
when, without a struggle, his breathing ceased 
and the baby Roger was gone. 

In the afternoon of that same day a pro- 
cession of forty or fifty Burmese and Portu- 
guese followed the heart-broken parents to a 
little grave in an enclosure of mango trees 
in the garden. All who knew the " little 
white child," as the vice-reine called him, 
strove to express their sympathy. A few 
days later her highness came with all the 
pomp of her high position to proffer con- 
dolences. If the degree of her sympathy was 
proportioned to the size of her retinue, it was 
large indeed, for two hundred officers and 
attendants followed in her train. When the 


Ann of Ava 

sad-faced mother came to greet her guest, the 
vice-reine smote her breast, saj^ing, " Why did 
you not send me word that I might have 
come to the funeral?" Mrs. Judson replied 
that she did not think of anj^thing at the time, 
so great was her distress. Whereupon the 
Burmese noblewoman tried sincerely to com- 
fort a sister woman in grief, bidding her not 
to weep, turning also to Mr. Judson and 
cautioning him lest the sorrow destroy his 
health, which all too evidently was on the 
decline. Not forgetting her duties as hostess, 
Mrs. Judson served her guest with tea, sweet- 
meats, and cake, which seemed to give her 
pleasure. All the while she was longing for 
the chance to serve the deep life needs of the 
Burmese vice-reine who, in all her visits to 
the government house, had manifested such a 
friendly spirit, such a cordial welcome to- 
ward the wife of the American teacher. If 
only she could return her kindness by leading 
her to accept the greatest of all gifts, even 
God's Christmas Gift to his human children! 
One lovely spring day, a short time after 
the vice-reine's call at the mission house, a 
gracious invitation proceeded from her high- 

Ann of Ava 

ness to the American family in Rangoon. 
Would they become her guests on a trip into 
the country to benefit their health and to 
" cool their minds," as she expressed it? They 
readily consented and presently a tall ele- 
phant with a howdah upon his back, appeared 
at the gate of the mission house for their 
conveyance. A long, imposing procession 
formed and wended its way toward the woods. 
Thirty men, with spears and guns in their 
hands and red caps on their heads, led the 
march. Directly behind them walked a mon- 
strous elephant caparisoned with a gilt how- 
dah, in which sat the tall, graceful figure of 
the vice-reine, clad in red and white silk. In 
the place of honor behind her ladyship rode 
the American guests followed by three or 
foin* elephants carrying the vice-reine's son 
and government officers. At the rear came 
a lordly retinue, two or three hundred strong, 
the men and women retainers of the govern- 
ment house. 

Through the woods the elephants trudged 
with soft, " squdgy " tread, breaking down, 
at the command of their drivers, the small 
trees which obstructed progress. In the midst 


Ann of Ava 

of a beautiful garden, luxuriant with wild, 
tropical growth, the procession halted, and 
under a wide-reaching banyan tree mats were 
spread for hostess and guests. Again the 
vice-reine sought by every means to divert 
and entertain her guests. She gathered fruit 
and pared it, plucked flowers and knotted 
them together, and presented these friendly 
tokens with her own hands as a mark of ex- 
treme favor. At dinner her cloth was laid 
beside that of her guests while she freely 
dispensed the bounty prepared. 

In the evening the procession returned to 
the city, and a tall elephant stopped before 
the mission house for its riders to dismount. 
Since the death of little Roger, homecom- 
ing had lost its keen zest, its poignant ex- 
pectancy. Yet out in the fragrant garden 
was a sheltered spot which bound their 
hearts more strongly than ever to the land 
of their adoption. There, underneath the 
mango trees, the mother often sat and wept 
by the grave of her first-born child. But 
even as the tears fell she wrote to a friend 
at home: "God is the same when he afflicts 
as when he is merciful; just as worthy of 

Ann of Ava 

our entire trust and confidence now as when 
he entrusted us with the precious little gift." 

Meanwhile, the little Dutch girl, Emily, 
crept all the more closely into the hearts of 
her adopted parents in their lonely life in 




CHRISTMAS day in a country where 
there is no Christmas! What a 
mockery of the jovial old saint who 
drives his reindeers down the chimneys of chil- 
dren's fancies! Has he access only to the 
hearts and homes of children of the West? 
Oh, Christmas, Christmas, with your radiant 
spell cast upon the winter days, where is the 
sign of your presence in this Burmese city, 
where the " temple bells are callin'," calling 
to the worship of an "idol made of mud"? 
In the great, golden pagoda, is there no jilace 
for the worship of a little Child born in a 
manger in Bethlehem? 

In the mission house in Rangoon, Christ- 
mas, in the year 1817, was celebrated by the 
disturbing events of departure. Again the 
little family group was to be broken by the 
absence of one of its members on an uncer- 
tain, coriipulsory journey. Before sunset, 
Mr. Judson would have sailed away from 
Rangoon, down the Irawadi river toward the 

Ann of Ava 

sea, and then north along the coast to Chitta- 
gong, a port of Arracan, belonging to the 
dominions of the East India- Company. It 
must be a momentous errand which would 
draw Adoniram Judson away from Rangoon 
at this critical stage in the development of 
the mission. 

No less a motive than the welfare of the 
mission itself had impelled this curious jour- 
ney into an unknown region. After four 
years of preparatory work, the time had come 
at last for a public proclamation of the gospel 
which hitherto the missionaries had expressed 
only by their daily lives, by private conversa- 
tion, and recently by the circulation of two 
tracts and the book of JVIatthew printed in 
Burmese. The knotty language had become so 
familiar to JNIr. Judson that he was now 
ready to venture before a critical native audi- 
ence. If, however, one Burmese Christian 
could stand by his side and declare in his 
native tongue to his o^vn countrymen the 
beauty of the Christian religion, the appeal 
would be a hundred times more powerful. As 
yet there was no avowed disciple of the Lord 
Christ among the natives in Rangoon, al- 


Ann of Ava 

though a number had shown an awakening 
interest. In the port of Chittagong were 
said to be several converts, the remnant of an 
abandoned English mission in that region. 
It was likely that Mr. Judson could persuade 
one of these native Christians, who spoke Bur- 
mese, to return with him to Rangoon and assist 
him in his task of public preaching. Thus, 
when it was announced that a ship would 
sail on December 25 from Rangoon to Chitta- 
gong, to return in a few weeks, a unique 
opportunity seemed to have presented itself. 
Furthermore, a second purpose would be 
accomplished by this sea voyage of about ten 
days in each direction. Renewed vigor would 
be imparted to Mr. Judson's worn-out body 
and mind. For nearly two years he had suf- 
fered acute pain in his eyes and head, caused 
by close study of the puzzling Burmese char- 
acters. For a period of four months he had 
not been able to read a page in a Burmese 
book, yet, during those very months, out of 
the knowledge already stored in his brain, he 
had compiled a grammar of the Burmese lan- 
guage! Twenty years later this grammar 
was published and pronounced by linguists 

Ann of Ava 

to be a masterpiece in its brevity and com- 
pleteness. Once before during his sickness 
a sea voyage had been planned, but sudden, 
surprising news from Calcutta prevented de- 
parture. A new missionary and his wife had 
just arrived from America and would pro- 
ceed to Rangoon by the next boat. Mrs. 
Judson would of course remain at home to 
welcome the newcomers, and an unexpected 
improvement in health detained Mr. Judson 

In October, 1816, Mr. and Mrs. Judson 
had received into their home the first Ameri- 
cans who had ever crossed their threshold. 
Such eager inquiries about the homeland as 
filled those first wonderful days when isola- 
tion was exchanged for friendly companion- 
ship! Mr. Hough, the new missionary, 
brought a timely present from the mission- 
aries at Serampore, — a printing-press, the 
first to be seen in the Burmese empire. So it 
came about, with Mr. Hough's knowledge of 
printing and Mr. Judson's knowledge of 
Burmese, that Christian publications were 
issued by the hundreds and thousands in the 
Burmese language. Thus it also came about 


Ann of Ava 

that Mrs. Judson and the small Emily were 
left in the midst of friends when IMr. Judson 
sailed away to Chittagong, expecting to re- 
turn in the space of three months at the 

The New Year dawned, bringing with it 
tasks new and old. On every Sunday some 
twenty or thirty Burmese women gathered 
regularly at the mission house to listen to 
Mrs. Judson as she told them new, wonder- 
ful stories of a God who truly loved his 
human children. Sometimes their tongues 
found ready questions, or else expressed an 
intention to worship the true God and go 
no more to the idol temple. But their under- 
standing and conviction were yet to be tested. 

From the government house came unfail- 
ing signs of good-will toward the American 
residents. Now and then an elephant ap- 
peared before the gate to convey them on 
excursions with the viceroy's family. • Her 
highness, the vice-reine, showed unmistakable 
affection for Mrs. Judson, with whom she 
had several times permitted friendly conver- 
sation upon the subject of religion. From 
her hand also she had accepted the Gospel 

Ann of Ava 

of Matthew, and the tract and catechism 
recently printed, even commanding that one 
of her daughters be taught to memorize the 
catechism that Mrs. Judson had written. But 
no further indication did she give of belief 
in the new religion, though Mrs. Judson 
watched eagerly for every token of deepen- 
ing interest. 

The last of January the coming of a vis- 
itor brought surprise and joy to the mission 
household. About a year before, when Mr. 
Judson was sitting with his teacher in his 
veranda-like room, a man of very respectable 
appearance, attended by a servant, had 
come up the steps and sat down before him. 
After a few preliminaries the stranger asked 
abruptly, " How long time will it take me 
to learn the religion of Jesus? " Mr. Judson 
replied and then proceeded to ask him how 
he had heard about Jesus. The man an- 
swered that he had seen two little books. Mr. 
Judson then handed him the tract and cate- 
chism, both of which he recognized instantly 
and read sentences here and there, remarking 
to his servant, *' This is the true God, this is 
the right way." " More of this sort of writ- 


Ann of Ava 

ing," was his repeated request, to which Mr. 
Judson responded that he was even then 
translating a larger book which would be 
ready in two or three months. " But," inter- 
posed the man, " have you not a little of 
that book done which you will graciously give 
me now? " Mr. Judson folded a few pages 
of his unfinished manuscript and gave him the 
first five chapters of the book of Matthew. 
Immediately, his desire gratified, the man 
rose and went away. 

For a year he had not returned, though 
Mr. Judson heard through a friend that he 
was reading his books " all the day " and 
showing them to every one who called upon 
him. He had been appointed governor of a 
group of villages in another region and came 
but seldom to Rangoon. Evidently upon his 
first opportunity he had resorted to the mis- 
sion house. In course of their conversation 
Mrs. Judson asked him if he had become a 
disciple of Jesus Christ. " I have not yet," 
he replied, " but I am thinking and reading 
in order to become one. I cannot yet destroy 
my old mind. . . . Tell the great teacher 
when he returns that I wish to see him, 

The Queen's Monastery 

Ann of Ava 

though I am not a disciple of Christ." Hav- 
ing requested and obtained the remaining 
portion of the Gospel of Matthew and a 
supply of catechisms and tracts, he and liis 
attendants went away. 

Thus it was that encouraging signs gave 
zest to the activities of the mission, and Mrs. 
Judson's hope quickened in expectation of 
her husband's return. Any day, now, his ship 
was due in port, for the time limit of three 
months had nearly expired. Mrs. Judson 
scanned the horizon for the first hazy lines 
of a ship's mast. One day in INIarch a vessel 
did indeed come creeping into the harbor, 
after twelve days' passage from Chittagong, 
but alas, it was not the boat in which Mr. 
Judson had sailed, and it brought most 
alarming news! Neither Mr. Judson nor 
the ship on which he had left Rangoon had 
been seen or heard of at Chittagong! This 
stray report brought by a native craft would 
not have been fully credited had it not been 
confirmed by messages which Mrs. Judson 
received at the same time from friends in 
Bengal. Certain it was that her husband's 
ship had not reached its destination. Could 


Ann of Ava 

it be that the course had been changed and 
the ship was j'^et safe in some unknown waters 
or port? This was a possibility, but on the 
other hand was the grim specter which fre- 
quently loomed larger than a possibility, that 
the ship on which Mr. Judson had sailed and 
all on board were lost. Oh, to know the 
truth, whatever the truth might be! 

Into the midst of this agonizing suspense 
came annoyances from an unexpected quar- 
ter. An ugly-sounding order was received 
one afternoon bidding Mr. Hough appear 
at once at the court-house to " give an account 
of himself." This gruff message w^as so to- 
tally unlike any communication hitherto sent 
by the government that bewilderment and 
alarm spread quickly through the mission 
household. ^Ir. Hough hastened to obey the 
command, followed at a distance by a group 
of frightened teachers, servants, and other 
adherents of the mission. As it was late 
when he reached the court-house he was 
merely commanded to give security for his 
presence early the next morning, when, as 
they remarked with fiendish emphasis, " if 
he did not tell all the truth relative to his 

Ann of Ava 

situation in the country, they would write 
with his heart's blood." 

In such a predicament ^Irs. Judson would 
ordinarily have appealed to the vice-reine, 
but only a short time before, the friendly 
viceroy and his family had been recalled from 
Rangoon to Ava. His successor was but 
slightly acquainted with the Judsons, and 
moreover his family had been left behind in 
the royal city. It was contrary to Burmese 
etiquette for a woman to appear at court in 
the absence of the vice-reine, consequently 
Mrs. Judson's tactful intervention was by 
custom prohibited. Mr. Hough could not 
speak Burmese with sufficient ease to permit 
him to appeal in person to the viceroy, so 
there was no recourse but for him to return 
on the morrow to the court session and to the 
uncertain fate there in store. 

For two days he was held at the court- 
house and forced to answer, through an in- 
terpreter, the most absurd questions, such as, 
what were the names of his parents, and how 
many suits of clothes did he possess, the an- 
swers to which were recorded with utmost 
formality. He was not even allowed recess 


Ann of Ava 

long enough to procure food, but was inces- 
santly subjected to examination. On Sun- 
day morning summons was again received 
to present himself at court that the inquiry 
might continue. Exasperated beyond endur- 
ance, Mrs. Judson determined to discover 
whether or not the viceroy was responsible 
for these maneuvers, or whether the subordi- 
nate officers were playing a shrewd game for 
bribes. Accordingly, her teacher wrote a 
petition addressed to the viceroy, stating their 
grievances, including the order to appear at 
court on their sacred day, and requesting that 
" it might be the pleasure of his highness that 
these molestations cease." 

With fine disregard of Burmese custom 
Mrs. Judson prepared to go herself to the 
government house to intercede with the vice- 
roy. Accompanied by Mr. Hough she en- 
tered the outer court and fortunately caught 
the eye of the viceroy as he sat in state sur- 
rounded by the officers of his court. He 
recognized her at once and with amazing 
condescension bade her come in and make 
known her request. Mrs. Judson handed 
the petition to one of the secretaries, who was 

Ann of Ava 

promptly ordered to read it. At its con- 
clusion the viceroy inquired in a stern voice 
of the very officer who had been most aggres- 
sive in tormenting Mr. Hough, " Why the 
examination of this foreign teacher had been 
thus prolonged?" At the same time he gave 
a written order that Mr. Hough should not 
be disturbed upon his sacred day and that 
further annoyance should cease. Thus the 
petty officers were foiled of their purpose 
by an act that they did not dream a woman 
would dare even to attempt. 

" Sweet are the uses of adversity " to a 
brave spirit like Mrs. Judson, but " ugly and 
venomous " was the form of its next ap- 
proach. For the first time in the history of 
Rangoon a furious epidemic of cholera in- 
vaded the city, accelerated in its progress by 
the hottest and driest weather of the year. 
Only the coming of the rainy season would 
be likely to check the deadly march of dis- 
ease. From morning until night the death 
drum beat its gruesome lament, reminding^ 
Mrs. Judson and her companions of their 
imminent danger, but also of the unfailing: 
watchfulness of their God. In very fact^ 


Ann of Ava 

throughout the long plague, not a person 
within the mission enclosure was touched by 
its ravages, though neighbors perished on 
every side. 

Added to the wail for the dead was the 
mad din set up each night to expel the evil 
spirits who, the natives believed, stalked per- 
petually through the streets wantonly de- 
stroying life. A cannon fired at the govern- 
ment house gave the signal whereat every 
Burman began to beat upon his house with a 
club or anything that would make a noise. 
The uproar was hideous, and only a very 
deaf or stubborn spirit would have refused 
to depart, yet the disease remained as viru- 
lent as ever. To one anxious woman the 
wail by day and by night was naught com- 
pared with the low, mournful cry of her heart 
for the return of her husband. Where in 
this whole Eastern world could he be, and 
when would he come again home? 

When could he come? was the next ques- 
tion to torture Mrs. Judson's mind. Already 
rumors of war were adding to the confusion 
of disease. England was said to be at enmity 
with Burma and on the verge of bombarding 

Ann of Ava 

the country. Was this the reason that no 
ships from English ports had entered the 
harbor in recent months? Did this account 
for the stealthy departure, one by one, of the 
boats anchored at Rangoon until but a single 
lonely craft was left? That too would be off 
to Bengal at the first opportunity, leaving the 
missionaries stranded in Rangoon with every 
kind of unnamed terror in prospect. 

Mr. Hough believed it to be their duty to 
escape while there was yet opportunity. ]\Irs. 
Judson, on the other hand, was strongly 
averse to leaving the one spot in all the world 
where her husband knew she was to be found. 
To remain in Rangoon even in loneliness, war, 
and pestilence was her dominant desire and 
her felt duty. Yet how could Mr. Judson 
return to her in Burma if an embargo should 
be laid upon English ships? But where, oh, 
where could she find him in Bengal or the 
vast country of India? Should she go or 
should she stay? If she decided to go, she 
was in dread of missing her husband for 
months if not forever. If she decided to stay, 
he might be cut off from reaching her, and 
moreover her life would be seriously en- 


Ann of Ava 

d angered. It was a dreadful dilemma, the 
biggest and most puzzling she had ever en- 
countered in all her career. 

At last, discouragement and perplexity bat- 
tered down her first resolve, and with a heavy 
heart she made preparations to leave Ran- 
goon. With the hope begotten of a great 
love she planned definitely upon meeting her 
husband in Bengal, and went so far as to 
engage his Burmese teacher to go with her 
that language study might be resumed. The 
teacher's courage failed, however, and he broke 
his engagement, fearing the embarrassment 
of his position should war be declared be- 
tween Burma and Great Britain. 

On the 5th of July, the mission house was 
left behind, while Mrs. Judson and Emily, 
with IMr. and Mrs. Hough, went on board 
the last remaining ship in the harbor. Even 
yet Mrs. Judson was not convinced of the 
wisdom of her decision. The old reluctance 
grew and grew even as the ship receded 
slowly and surely down the river toward the 
sea. Nothing could reconcile her to this 
enforced departure, but it was too late now to 
retrace her course. She seemed to be the 

Ann of Ava 

victim of adverse circumstances, but usually 
her will was stronger than circumstances. 
Why not now? What was the meaning of 
this persistent set of her heart to return to 
Rangoon, just as in the journeyings of the 
Master his face was steadfastly set to go to 
Jerusalem ? 

The vessel was even now at the point where 
the river meets the sea, when the course was 
suddenly changed and directed toward the 
nearest harbor. Unseaworthy conditions had 
been discovered and the ship must be re- 
loaded. Here was Mrs. Judson's one and 
only chance for escape, and with determined 
voice she announced her intention to return to 
Rangoon. The captain agreed to send her 
back in a boat and to forward her baggage 
the next day. It was evening when Mrs. 
Judson and her little companion, Emily, en- 
tered the city and sought out the house of the 
only Englishman left in Rangoon, where they 
spent the night. The next morning they 
went out to the mission house to the surprise 
and joy of all the Burmans left on the prem- 
ises. Alone with her little girl, among people 
of an alien race, in a disturbed, isolated city, 


Ann of Ava 

Mrs. Judson wrote in her diary of July 14: 
" I know I am surrounded by dangers on 
every hand, and expect to feel much anxiety 
and distress, but at present I am tranquil, 
intend to make an effort to pursue my studies 
as formerly and leave the event with God." 

Within two days of the return to Ran- 
goon, a long lost vessel sailed into the har- 
bor, even the very ship on which Mr. Jud- 
son had departed six months before! Mrs. 
Judson hastened to the captain to hear the 
news he brought of her husband. It was only 
an unfinished tale he had to tell. The ship 
had not been able to make its intended port, 
Chittagong, and for three months had been 
tossed about in the Bay of Bengal without 
a haven. At last they had crept into Masuli- 
patam, a port north of ^ladras on the coast 
of India, where JMr. Judson had left the 
ship to go to JNIadras, seeking speedy pas- 
sage thence to Rangoon. Beyond this point 
the captain could give no accoimt of his 
whereabouts, but to know that he had escaped 
shipwreck and was trying his best to return 
home brought a great lift of expectancy to 
Mrs. Judson's spirits and confirmed the wis- 

Ann of Ava 

dom of her decision to go back to Rangoon. 
This ship was the first to arrive from India 
in four months, but the fact of its coming 
indicated that war was not so imminent as 
was supposed. 

A few days later Mrs. Judson was sur- 
prised by the return of Mr. and Mrs. Hough 
to the mission house. The belated ship upon 
which they had taken passage for Bengal was 
to be detained in port for some weeks, and 
their departure was deferred accordingly. 
Mrs. Judson hoped and prayed for the com- 
ing of her husband before they should go 
away again, that she might not be under the 
necessity, as she wrote, *' of living in this 
dreadful country, and out here in the woods 
without a friend or protector." Her daily 
program of study was resumed and diligently 
followed. "This," she wrote, "I find the 
best method to avoid dejection; besides, my 
conscience will not permit me to sit idly down 
and yield to those desponding feelings in 
which a Christian should not indulge." 

Thus one day after another dragged by 
until a week spent itself in enforced study 
and anxious vigil. Each morning brought 


Ann of Ava 

quickened hope and each night a fresh dis- 
appointment. But on one eventful day early 
in August, hope brightened into fulfilment 
and disappointment lost itself in a transport 
of joy. An English vessel had arrived at the 
mouth of the river, and — news almost too 
good to be true — Mr. Judson was on board! 
To his wife, the reaction from five long 
months of daily suspense was almost too much 
to endure. 

In the living-room of the mission house 
the husband and wife sat and recounted their 
experiences of the seven months of separa- 
tion. Into her story of encouragement fol- 
lowed by disaster he could easily read the 
high courage and resourcefulness which had 
actually saved the mission from ruin. Into 
his narrative of fever, thirst, starvation, and 
disappointed hopes she read the high trust 
in God which had saved her husband from 
despair, if not from death. And together 
they faced the future, praying the old praj^er 
of the first years in Rangoon: " God grant 
that we may live and die among the Bur- 
mans, though we never should do anything 
else than smooth the way for others." 


IN the year 1822 an English sailing ves- 
sel was making its slow passage between 
Calcutta and Liverpool by the old cir- 
cuitous route around the Cape of Good Hope. 
On board were a number of European pas- 
sengers returning home after a more or less 
prolonged stay in the East. One of the larger 
cabins was occupied by three children and a 
sweet-faced lady evidently not their mother. 
The lady's brown eyes had a tired, patient 
look as if she had endured uncommon griefs, 
yet at the same time they shone with an un- 
wonted fire as if proclaiming an experience 
fraught with high adventure. Her complex- 
ion bore that peculiar tan which seemed to 
indicate long residence in the tropics. 

Her manner and apj^earance awakened 
something more than the curious interest of 
her fellow travelers, something strangely akin 
to reverence. During those days when she 
was prostrated in her berth, not by seasick- 
ness but by an old complaint, two young 


Ann of Ava 

women of high social rank came frequently 
to inquire for her and to read aloud such 
portions of literature as she should select. 
Often her choice was from the Bible to which 
she added her own clear-voiced entreaty for 
a life of self-denial and high service. Her 
two visitors were seriously impressed with the 
sincerity and purposefulness of this stranger 
who they discovered had been one of the 
pioneer missionaries to go from America to 
the Orient, and who, after ten years' absence, 
was on her way home for her first visit. 

Yes, the traveler was no other than Ann 
Hasseltine Judson, who had bidden her hus- 
band good-by in Rangoon, Burma, and was 
now voyaging westward toward her girlhood 
home in America. Was there, do you think, 
no tinge of regret in her joyous anticipations 
of father, mother, sisters, and all the dear, 
familiar scenes of New England? Leagues 
and leagues behind in old Rangoon lay the 
home of her womanhood, the first and only 
home of her married life. It had cost labor 
and sorrow abundant to establish that home, 
but the priceless treasure of one's heart is 
always won out of travail of spirit. Thus 

Ann of Ava 

her life had become fibered deeply into the 
environment of heathen Burma, and to trans- 
plant it was like uprooting a firmly embedded 
tree. " Rangoon, from having been the thea- 
ter in which so much of the faithfulness, 
power, and mercy of God had been exhibited, 
from having been considered, for ten years 
past, as my home for life, and from a thou- 
sand interesting associations of ideas, had 
become the dearest spot on earth. Hence you 
will imagine that no ordinary consideration 
could have induced my departure." These 
words Mrs. Judson wrote to a friend as she 
was leaving Burma. 

It was indeed " no ordinary consideration," 
but a life and death concern which had com- 
pelled the long separation from her husband 
and her beloved work. She had become worn 
out by a deep-seated disease which foiled 
every attempt at its cure. Before his very 
eyes her husband had seen her wasting away, 
until the truth was forced upon him that un- 
less his wife were sent at once to a more 
hardy, northern climate, she could live but a 
few months. It was a Spartan decision, but 
as Mrs. Judson said, " duty to God, to our- 


Ann of Ava 

selves, to the board of missions, and to the 
perishing Burmans compelled us to adopt this 
course of procedure, though agonizing to all 
the natural feelings of our hearts." 

Upon arrival in Calcutta, in September, 
1821, Mrs. Judson found the captains of 
America-bound vessels unwilling to receive 
passengers, as cargoes had been accepted to 
the extent of their ships' capacity. Passage 
to England was therefore the alternative and 
a kindly-disposed captain agreed to take her 
for a moderate sum provided she would share 
a stateroom with three children who were 
being sent to England. When the father 
heard of the proposition he offered to pay 
the entire cost of the cabin that his children 
might have the benefit of Mrs. Judson's com- 

Mr. Kipling has declared that " If youVe 
'card the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed 
naught else." And so it was with jMrs. Jud- 
son. The further she sailed toward the West 
the more tenaciously her thoughts clung to 
the Eastern city she had left behind. Be- 
fore her eyes stretched the great expanse of 
ocean, but before her inner vision appeared 

Ann of Ava 

a curiously wrought building, made partly 
of bamboo and thatch, and located on one of 
the pagoda roads in Rangoon. JNIemory and 
imagination haunted this place, for it was 
the scene of her most precious experiences of 
the last two years and was now the probable 
setting of her husband's daily labor. It was 
their wayside chapel, or " zayat," as the Bur- 
mese called it, built by JMr. Judson on his 
return from the unfortunate Chittagong trip. 
In the zayat Moung Nau had openly con- 
fessed his allegiance to Jesus Christ, es- 
teeming it a rare privilege to be the first 
Christian convert among the Burmese people, 
even though he had naught to expect in this 
world but persecution and death. There, on 
the Sunday after Moung Nau's baptism, the 
Lord's Supper was for the first time adminis- 
tered by Mr. Judson in two languages, Eng- 
lish and Burmese, an event which had been 
the desire of his heart for six long years. 
In the open room at the front the learned 
teacher JNIoung Shwa-gnong had appeared 
day after da^ questioning and reasoning, his 
philosophic mind disturbed but not convinced 
until months later when he finally thrust aside 


Ann of Ava 

fear of disgrace and persecution and besought 
Mr. Judson for baptism. In the inner room 
the Wednesday evening class was accustomed 
to meet with Mrs. Judson, and cherished were 
the memories of those evening hours. Espe- 
cially did her thoughts linger with her friend 
Mah Men-la, that capable, influential Bur- 
mese woman, the first of her sex to acknowl- 
edge herself a Christian; who later, of her 
own accord opened a village school that the 
boys and girls might not have to resort to 
the Buddhist priests for instruction. There 
was also her faithful sister Mah Myat-lah and 
there were Moung Thah-lah, Moung Byaa, 
and the rest of that stalwart little band of 
disciples, members of the church, twelve in 
number when Mrs. Judson left Burma. No 
wonder that she and her husband felt as if 
they had entered a little way into the experi- 
ence of their Lord, whose heart was drawn 
out in yearning love toward his twelve dis- 
ciples I 

Never would Mrs. Judson forget the stead- 
fastness of those first converts, three in num- 
ber, who rallied around her husband in his 
hour of bitter discouragement, when he was 

A Burmese Christian Home 

Ann of Ava 

on the verge of abandoning the mission and 
removing to Chittagong. " Stay," they said, 
" until a little church of ten is collected, and 
then if you must go we will not say nay. 
In that case we shall not be concerned. This 
religion will spread of itself. The emperor 
cannot stop it." 

It was the failure of the Ava trip which 
had wrought that depression of Mr. Judson's 
usually buoyant spirits. Oh, the chagrin and 
ignominy of that journey! Mrs. Judson's 
heart sank as she recalled the experiences 
which she had heard her husband narrate so 
often. IMr. Judson, accompanied by his 
new missionary associate, ]Mr. Colman, had 
traveled in a native rowboat three hundred 
and fifty miles from Rangoon to the royal 
city Ava, that they might present to the 
emperor a petition for religious freedom in 
Burma. Carefully had they prepared to 
conciliate his majesty with gifts, choosing as 
the most appropriate offering, the Bible 
printed in six volumes, each volume bound in 
gold leaf and enclosed in a rich, embroidered 

And then Mrs. Judson pictured the mis- 


Ann of Ava 

sionaries' reception at the court of Ava, the 
splendor of the royal palace, vast and golden, 
and the proud, disdainful young monarch, 
with his rich, Oriental garb and gold-sheathed 
sword, and his commanding eye; before him 
the American teachers, her husband and Mr. 
Colman, kneeling and humbly proffering their 
petition for freedom to preach Christ's gospel 
to the Burmese people! It was a dramatic 
moment, a heathen emperor for the first time 
since the days of Rome confronted face to 
face by the quiet, determined followers of 
Jesus Christ! At first his majesty listened 
somewhat attentively and then reread the 
petition, handing it back without a word. 
Breathlessly the two missionaries waited as 
he took the tract, beautifully printed for his 
benefit, from the hand of his minister of 
state, and read the first two sentences which 
assert there is but one eternal God, when, 
with supreme indifference, he flung it to the 
ground, thus deciding their fate. Two cut- 
ting sentences pronounced by the minister 
finally blasted their hopes: " In regard to the 
objects of your petition, his majesty gives 
no order. In regard to your sacred books, 

Ann of Ava 

his majesty has no use for them, take them 
away." Then followed the ignominious re- 
treat from the palace grounds and down the 
river to Rangoon to the solace of home and 
a few loyal friends. 

One member of that little family group 
had traveled with Mrs. Judson from Burma 
to India, Emily Von Someren, who was re- 
turning to her childhood home in Madras to 
spend the time of her foster mother's absence. 
She could picture the child of ten years sit- 
ting sedately before a class of aged Bur- 
mese men and women teaching them their 
letters. And last summer Emily had been 
the mainstay of the household, when Mr. and 
Mrs. Judson were both sick with fever at 
the same time with no attendant but the girl 
of thirteen. God had been good to lend them 
the little Dutch girl for so long a time. 

Added to memories of the past, came reali- 
ties of the present charged with pleasure un- 
expected. Soon after Mrs. Judson landed in 
England, ^Ir. Joseph Butterworth, an emi- 
nent Christian gentleman and member of 
Parliament, claimed her as the guest of his 
home. In his house she met many distin- 


Ann of Ava 

guished people, among them Wilberforce, 
Babington, and Somers, the king's chaplain. 
Afterwards Mr. Butterworth, in alluding to 
her visit, said that it reminded him of the 
apostolic injunction: "Be not forgetful to 
entertain strangers, for thereby some have 
entertained angels unawares." 

Friends in Scotland heard of Mrs. Judson's 
arrival in England and urgently invited her 
to visit them, offering to defray her expenses 
thither. Thus she spent several weeks in that 
wonderful little country, with its thrilling 
history and stanch Christian people. While 
there she received a letter from the Baptist 
mission board in America asking her to 
come at once to the United States by the 
New York packet. She hastened to Liver- 
pool to take passage upon this ship, but was 
dissuaded by some kind ladies in that city 
who insisted upon pajnng her expenses upon 
a larger, more comfortable vessel. 

Consequently, on August 16, on board the 
Amity, Mrs. Judson recorded in her diary: 
" Should I be preserved through the voyage, 
the next land I tread will be my own native 
soil, ever loved America, the land of my 

Ann of Ava 

birth. I cannot realize that I shall ever 
again find myself in my own dear home at 
Bradford amid the scenes of my early youth, 
where every spot is associated with some ten- 
der recollection. But the constant idea that 
my husband is not a participator of my joys 
will mar them all." 

The beautiful coloring of October lay upon 
the New England hills when Ann Hasseltine 
Judson returned along the old Boston Road 
to her father's house in Bradford. The voy- 
age from Burma had hardly seemed so in- 
tolerably slow as the last ten miles over which 
the stage-coach crept its way. One by one 
familiar landmarks came into view, well- 
remembered roads leading to neighboring 
towns, houses where lived old acquaintances, 
a distant village on a hill, and flowing swiftly 
through the valley, the dear old river Merri- 
mac. Excitement quickened every moment 
and was at its topmost pitch when the cluster 
of white houses forming the village of Brad- 
ford emerged in sight. Now they are ap- 
proaching Bradford Academy, the " pet and 
pride of the community," yet still the same 
humble little building in which Nancy Has- 


Ann of Ava 

seltine and Harriet Atwood went to school 
some eighteen years ago. And now at last 
they are drawing near the Hasseltine home- 
stead and the welcome of father, mother, 
Rebecca, Mary, and Abigail. 

What a home-coming it was! Ten years 
of absence and sometimes no letter from the 
wanderer for a year or more at a time! On 
her part, two solid years and a half of hungry 
expectancy before the first home letter ar- 
rived! What wonder that the Hasseltine 
family felt almost as if they had received 
their yomigest daughter from the dead! 
What wonder, too, that the house was 
thronged with visitors from morning until 
night, neighbors, friends, and kindred from 
near and far coming to welcome the girl they 
used to know, who, as a woman, had traveled 
farther than any of the stay-at-home New 
England folk had ever dreamed! And what 
thrilling, unimaginable experiences she had 
to narrate, and how the foreign missionary 
venture branded as " wild and romantic " ten 
years ago, seemed to be justified in the light 
of the wonderful work begun in Burma! 

It was a glad, proud moment for Miss 

Ann of Ava 

Abigail Hasseltine, the preceptress of Brad- 
ford Academy, when her younger sister, al- 
ways her favorite, stood before the academy 
students and told them of her loved work in 
the East, its hardships and hindrances and 
its glorious prospects. Like Miss Abigail, 
the boys and girls were captivated by the 
speaker's grace and beauty and thrilled by 
her whole-hearted enthusiasm. 

But, alas, Mrs. Judson had not counted 
the cost of this home-coming, had not once 
imagined its joy would exact so heavy a 
price. From the hour of arrival in her 
native land excitement robbed her nerves 
of their equilibrium. For the first four 
nights she was not able to close her eyes in 
sleep. Then came the immense shock of 
joy at the reunion with her family and 
friends, and for six weeks she could not 
obtain one quiet night of sleep. The con- 
stant round of visitors, together with the 
cold of an approaching New England winter 
undermined her health to such a degree that 
she was in a most alarming condition. The 
very purpose of her trip to America was 
being defeated, and however drastic the 


Ann of Ava 

measure, she must devise some way to secure 
complete rest and quiet in a milder climate 
than Massachusetts. 

One . expedient suggested itself as feas- 
ible. Mr. Judson's only brother, Elnathan, 
was a surgeon of considerable skill working 
under government appointment in Balti- 
more. He had sensed the urgency of his 
sister's situation and had frequently written 
begging her to come south to take the treat- 
ment for her disease which could not be at- 
tempted with safety in the north. Her 
" Indian constitution " as she called it, was 
ill adapted to the rigors of a New England 
climate after long habituation to the tropics. 

Thus, even in America, Mrs. Judson had 
to make heroic decisions, but heroic decisions 
seemed to have become almost the law of 
her life. A courageous act it was to tear 
herself away from her father's house after 
six weeks' presence and ten years' absence, 
yet it was her paramount duty to regain her 
health and to subordinate every other in- 
terest. So, late in November, she traveled 
bravely forth from Bradford to Providence, 
thence by steamboat to New York, where she 

Ann of Ava 

paused for one interesting, memorable night. 
A large number of people, hearing of her 
brief stay in the city, assembled to give her 
welcome and to pray with one accord for 
the mission work in Burma. It was a brac- 
ing experience to find such heartfelt interest 
in the far-away mission, yet the very exulta- 
tion of feeling mingled with thoughts of the 
distant home in Rangoon wrought such a 
havoc of fatigue that she was scarcely able 
to proceed on her journey to Baltimore. 

For the next four months Mrs. Judson 
made a brave struggle for health. Through 
her brother's influence she was attended by 
the most eminent physicians in Baltimore, 
who agreed in assuring her that she would 
recover by springtime, but could not have 
lived through the winter had she stayed in 
New England. Even in the milder climate 
of Maryland it was no easy task to recuper- 
ate spent energy and heal the deep-seated 
disease. Although for a time company was 
excluded and the coveted opportunity to tell 
of the need in Burma prohibited, yet even 
in her sick room Mrs. Judson worked daily 
for the mission she loved better than life it- 


Ann of Ava 

self. Many friends in England had be- 
sought her to write a history of the Ameri- 
can mission in Burma of which she and her 
husband had been the founders. This she 
had essayed to do, beginning on shipboard 
during the voyage across the Atlantic, and 
now resuming the labor at the rate of five 
hours a day despite weakness and pain. The 
book was written in the form of letters ad- 
dressed to Joseph Butterworth, Esq., M.P., 
London, her kind host and patron during 
her stay in England. Before Mrs. Judson 
left America her manuscript was printed, 
and to-day, in a few libraries and private 
collections is still treasured the little old- 
fashioned volume in its original garb of 1823. 
Of all the interesting mail from near and 
far which came to brighten Mrs. Judson's 
isolation, do you imagine anything brought 
such a thrill of satisfaction as those letters 
which bore the marks of long travel from 
Rangoon, Burma? One day in February a 
copy of Mr. Judson's journal reached his 
wife and with breathless interest she read 
those closely-written pages. Five more con- 
verts to Christianity, among them three 

Ann of Ava 

women who had formerly attended Mrs. 
Judson's Wednesday meeting in the zayatl 
Eighteen members of the church of Christ 
in Burma, a number pitifully small when 
you remember the millions of people, and 
yet hopefully large when you stop to think 
that from a heathen idol to a heavenly Father 
is a long way for the human mind to travel 
in its search for God! "You will readily 
imagine my anxiety to get back to Rangoon," 
wrote Mrs. Judson to her sister soon after 
the receipt of the Burmese letter. 

When the opportunity for usefulness was 
so glowing with promise it was galling to 
one's ambition to be held captive in a sick 
room, yet in that period of quiet retirement 
from the world Mrs. Judson's spirit was 
being equipped for the great tribulation 
through which she was destined to pass. It 
seemed as if by her prayers she had entered 
into that shining region of peace and light 
where dwell the " very inhabitants of 
heaven," and had brought away something 
of its radiant atmosphere. God had become 
the solace and delight of her inner life, and 
from this time on, " neither death, nor life, 


Ann of Ava 

nor angels, . . . nor any other creature " 
would be able to separate her " from the love 
of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord." 
This was just the armor her soul needed 
for its coming warfare. 

In March and April Mrs. Judson spent 
several weeks in Washington, reading proof 
of her book, which was finished and in press. 
There, as everywhere slie went, she left the 
impress of a lovely personality absolutely 
devoted to God and to the work he had given 
her to do in the world. While she was in 
Washington, the Baptist General Conven- 
tion, otherwise known as the mission board, 
held its annual session in the city. From its 
number a committee was appointed to confer 
with Mrs. Judson regarding the Burma 
mission, and at her suggestion several im- 
portant measures were adopted. Those who 
came in touch with her on this occasion, as 
well as many others, realized as they had 
never done before, the claim of Burma upon 
the Baptist churches of America, to whose 
efforts exclusively God had committed this 
portion of his needy world. 

With the warmer weather of spring Mrs. 

Ann of Ava 

Judson was able to return to Bradford, 
though only for a fleeting visit, because she 
purposed to sail for Burma early in the sum- 
mer. In vain did her friends entreat her 
to remain another year that her health might 
be completely restored. The voice of the 
East was " callin' " so audibly in her soul 
that she could literally " 'eed naught else." 
Some mysterious foreboding told her she 
was going away never to return, but this 
strange, solemn conviction no whit lessened 
her desire to depart. 

On a June day in 1823, a large group of 
Christian people assembled at the Boston 
wharf to bid farewell to three missionaries 
who were sailing for the East, Mrs. Ado- 
niram Judson and Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan 
Wade, destined, all three, for the American 
mission in Burma. The summer setting of 
this scene was quite unlike the bleak, wintry 
day in February, 1812, when the first mis- 
sionaries from America to the heathen world 
sailed out of Salem harbor. As different too 
as summer is from winter was the expectancy 
singing in Mrs. Judson's heart, for she was 
this time on her way — home. 


WITHIN sound of the pagoda bells 
in old Rangoon and within sight 
of the broad river leading to the 
sea, Adoniram Judson stood looking intently 
toward the west. His slight, alert figure and 
his keen brown eyes easily identified him 
with the young man who had led his classes 
and his classmates at Brown and Andover. 
His face had always been that of the scholar, 
sensitive and thoughtful, but lines of invinci- 
ble determination and marks of strong suffer- 
ing now revealed his manhood's experience. 
Despite all the ravages of a tropical and un- 
civilized country for the last ten years, he 
was still youthful in face and form, still as 
immaculate in appearance, despite the old- 
fashioned cut of his clothes, as if he had just 
emerged from the tidy New England par- 
sonage which was his boyhood home. 

In point of fact he had just emerged from 

his well-ordered study in the mission house 

in Rangoon, the room which had been his 

perpetual retreat for the past ten months 


Ann of Ava 

while he strove to banish anxiety and loneli- 
ness by unremitting application to study. 
During that period of waiting for his wife's 
return he had finished his translation of the 
New Testament and had written in Burmese 
a summary in twelve sections of the vast con- 
tents of Old Testament history, two enor- 
mous tasks, equal to the output of a dozen 
ordinary brains. The stint of his mind was 
now accomplished, but the desire of his heart 
was not yet realized. When would the ship, 
bringing to him more precious cargo than 
all the costly merchandise which ever crossed 
the seas, come sailing into port? He strained 
his eyes seaward to catch the first glint of 
light on an approaching sail. 

After Mrs. Judson left Burma, more than 
two years before, her husband had again 
been enticed up the river to the royal city, 
Ava. His new missionary colleague. Dr. 
Price, had been summoned thither by order 
of the king himself, who had heard of the 
foreign doctor's skill and desired an exhibi- 
tion of his ability. In this royal invitation 
Mr. Judson perceived an opportunity to 
press his claim a second time on behalf of 


Ann of Ava 

religious liberty for the Burmese followers of 
Christ. On this occasion his hopes were not 
blighted as formerly, for the king and his court 
extended a gracious reception to the American 
doctor and teacher, and moreover displayed 
astonishing readiness to learn the meaning of 
the new religion which the Western strangers 
had introduced into the old Buddhist empire. 
After four months' stay in Ava, during which 
time he associated constantly with the royal 
family and government officials, Mr. Judson 
essayed to return home to Rangoon to watch 
for the coming of his wife. As he took leave 
of the king, his majesty protested against 
his going away and bade him come again 
and dwell permanently in the golden city. A 
plot of ground had been given Mr. Judson 
as a site for a house, and his hopes ran high 
at the prospect of founding a Christian mis- 
sion in the capital city of the nation. No 
tinge of foreboding darkened his thought as 
he retraced his course down the Irawadi to the 
port city of Rangoon. 

It was early in February, 1823, when Mr. 
Judson returned home from Ava; it was ten 
months later, on the fifth day of December, 

Ann of Ava 

when an English ship was reported at the 
mouth of the river and after some hours came 
sailing triumphantly into the broad harbor 
of Rangoon. The repressed longing of two 
years' separation breaks its bounds to-day, 
for, lo, the traveler has returned from her 
long, long journey! It is verily Ann Hassel- 
tine who has come back, not the Mrs. Judson 
who went away, frail and careworn, but the 
girl of olden days, with her fresh color, health, 
and beauty. What a traveler she has been, 
skirting the edge of four continents, com- 
passing boundless leagues of ocean, circum- 
navigating hemispheres, and now safe and 
sound in the Burmese city from which she 
set forth two years and four months ago! 
Yes, she has actually reached the home which 
lay always " at the end of her dream," but 
not, alas, to settle down in the mission house 
as hitherto, but to travel on, on to the chief 
city of the empire, where dwells the all- 
powerful, capricious king. Ava, the golden 
city, what is there in your simple name to 
suggest unbridled cruelty and despotism for 
all those who forfeit the favor of your 
haughty monarch? 


Ann of Ava 

Unwitting of danger, the husband and 
wife, accompanied by a few Burmese con- 
verts, set out for the new mission in the royal 
city. Mr. and Mrs. Hough, who had re- 
turned from Bengal during Mrs. Judson's 
absence, together with the newcomers, Mr. 
and Mrs. Wade, formed a force of workers 
sufficient to care for the mission in Rangoon. 
Mr. and Mrs. Judson, the intrepid pioneers, 
must press on to claim another heathen city 
for the one true God. 

For six weeks in January and February, 
1824, their little boat pushed its way against 
the wind up stream toward Ava. Often in 
the tortuous course of the river they walked 
through the wayside villages and overtook 
their snail-like conveyance. A foreign 
woman had never been seen in these inland 
towns, and great was the excitement when 
Mrs. Judson appeared. Friends and rela- 
tives were notified of her approach that none 
might miss the extraordinary sight. 

Within one hundred miles of Ava the 
travelers were confronted by a spectacle in- 
tended to strike wonder and terror into the 
hearts of beholders. The famous Burmese 

Ann of Ava 

general, Bandoola, with his army, was mak- 
ing his pompous journey to the coast, con- 
fidently expecting to fight and conquer the 
armies of Britain. His golden barge, sur- 
rounded by a fleet of golden war boats, met 
the humble little craft containing the mis- 
sionaries and promptly challenged their right 
to proceed. When informed that the trav- 
elers were not English people, but Ameri- 
cans going to Ava at the express command 
of the king, they permitted them to go on 
their way unmolested. From now on, how- 
ever, the missionaries knew that war was a 
menacing probability and that at any mo- 
ment they might be plunged into its grim 

A few days before they reached Ava, Dr. 
Price, who had heard of their approach, 
came in a small boat to meet them. It was 
a somewhat sorry tale he had to tell, dampen- 
ing to their expectations of a welcome in the 
royal city. The tide of popularity had 
seemed to turn against the foreign residents 
of Ava. The old privy councilors of the 
king had been dismissed and their places 
filled by new officials who neither knew nor 


Ann of Ava 

cared for the American teachers. Thus Mr. 
Judson foresaw that he had little to expect 
for the mission he and Dr. Price planned to 

Upon arrival in the city, prospects were 
no less doleful. No house opened its door 
to receive them except Dr. Price's, which was 
unfinished and so unsavory with dampness 
that Mrs. Judson, after a few hours' stay, 
was thrown into a fever. There was no 
alternative but to abide in the boat until a 
shelter of some sort could be erected upon 
the plot of ground given by the king to Mr. 
Judson on his former visit. Mrs. Judson 
could hardly credit her senses when, in ex- 
actly two weeks after their arrival, they 
moved their belongings into a comfortable 
house of three rooms and a veranda, actually 
built and completed in that incredibly short 

Therein, despite meager encouragement 
from the royal palace, they began to hold 
services every evening, which a number of 
Burmese attended. It was a decided ad- 
vantage to be able to speak the language 
with such ease as these two foreigners 

Ann of Ava 

had acquired. Every Sundaj^ Mr. Judson 
preached to an audience varying in number 
from twelve to twenty who assembled at Dr. 
Price's house across the river. Mrs. Judson 
opened a school for girls, consisting origi- 
nally of three small pupils, two of them 
being sisters whom their father had given to 
Mrs. Judson to educate. She named them 
for her own sisters, Mary and Abby Hassel- 
tine and planned to support one of them 
with the money which the " Judson Asso- 
ciation of Bradford Academy " had agreed 
to contribute. In a spirit of quiet depend- 
ence upon God the missionaries applied 
themselves to their tasks, conscious, neverthe- 
less, that trouble was brewing every day. 

Mr. Judson went two or three times to the 
royal palace, according to his former habit, 
but the king scarcely deigned to notice him. 
The queen, who had previously expressed a 
strong desire to see the teacher's wife in her 
foreign dress, now made no inquiries nor ex- 
pressed a wish for her presence. Conse- 
quently Mrs. Judson did not attempt to 
visit the palace although she was invited al- 
most every day to call upon members of the 


Ann of Ava 

royal family living outside the palace en- 
closure. The only course of procedure 
seemed to be to carry out their original in- 
tentions as unobtrusively as possible, seeking 
at every step to give evidence that they had 
nothing to do with the war. 

Still, suspicion seemed to rest ominously 
upon the foreigners who dwelt at Ava. Af- 
ter the king and queen took formal possession 
of the new palace just completed, an order 
was issued that, with one exception, no for- 
eigner should be allowed to enter its pre- 
cincts. This mysterious command was some- 
what disconcerting, but for two or three weeks 
no alarming event occurred, and preparations 
were steadily made for the new brick house 
which was to shelter the Judson family from 
the blistering heat of the tropics. 

On Sunday, the 23rd of May, the little 
group of Christians gathered as usual for 
worship at Dr. Price's house, when, at the 
close of service, a messenger appeared at the 
door with an exciting announcement. Man- 
goon had been captured by the British army! 
War was a vivid reality now, and the for- 
eigners in Ava must face its uncertain issues. 

Ann of Ava 

Mr. Gouger, a young English merchant re- 
siding in Ava, was in the company of the 
missionaries when the news arrived, and for 
his safety they feared more exceedingly than 
for their own. As Americans, they fervently 
hoped they would not be entangled in the 
aflPairs of war. Yet one and all repaired 
to the Judsons' house in the city to consult. 
Mr. Gouger made haste to interview the 
prince who was the king's most influential 
brother. His reply was, that his majesty 
had definitely stated that " the few foreigners 
residing in Ava had nothing to do with the 
war and should not be molested." Even with 
this assurance apprehension was not wholly 

The cause of the war was that ill-fated 
country, ill-fated at least to the Judsons, 
known as Chittagong. This region was 
under British rule, and Burmese subjects 
often took refuge there from the despotism 
of their own government. The king of 
Burma demanded that his subjects should 
be arrested by British officers and returned 
to his authority. Furthermore, the Burmans 
resented the flag of Great Britain in a 


Ann of Ava 

country which they felt belonged logically to 
their own nation. Consequently they made 
audacious advances into British territory 
and every attempt on the part of that gov- 
ernment for redress was met by indifference, 
and finally by active preparations for war. 
So monstrous was the daring of this un- 
civilized nation that they even proposed to 
invade Bengal itself. It was rumored that 
Bandoola's army carried a pair of golden 
fetters destined to be worn by the Governor- 
general of India when he should be led cap- 
tive to the " golden feet " of Burma's mon- 
arch. The military pride of Great Britain 
would endure this insolence no longer, and 
in May, 1824, an army of six thousand men 
under the command of Sir Archibald Camp- 
bell was dispatched to Rangoon. So totally 
unexpected was this attack that little or no 
resistance was made and Rangoon fell 
promptly into the hands of the enemy. 

When the news of the fall of Rangoon 
reached the royal city, almost gleeful prep- 
arations were made for speedy retaliation. 
Never a doubt was harbored of the possibility 
of victory, the king's only fear being that 

Ann of Ava 

the British would be so overwhelmed with 
terror at the approach of the Burmese troops 
that they would flee away in their ships be- 
fore they could be captured as slaves. " Bring 
me," said the wife of a high official, " four 
white strangers to manage the affairs of my 
house, as I understand they are trusty serv- 
ants." In three or four days an army of 
ten thousand men was enlisted and sent on 
its way down the river toward Rangoon. As 
the war boats passed the Judsons' house on 
the river bank, the soldiers were dancing, 
singing, and gesticulating in high glee. 
" Poor fellows," said those who knew the 
prowess of the greatest military nation on 
earth, " you will probably never dance again." 
As soon as the army had departed from 
the city, the government officials began to 
ask why the English soldiers had attacked 
Rangoon. There must be spies in the coun- 
try who have invited them, was the insidious 
suggestion, instantaneously adopted. " And 
who so likely to be spies as the English- 
men residing in Ava?" A rumor was circu- 
lated that Captain Laird, recently arrived, had 
brought papers from Bengal which stated the 


Ann of Ava 

purpose of the English to take Rangoon. 
The three Englishmen, Mr. Gouger, Captain 
Laird, and Mr. Rogers, were summoned for 
examination, and were kept in confinement 
though not in prison. Mr. and Mrs. Judson 
began to tremble for their own safety and 
were in daily dread of some direful event. 
Soon the day came when Mr. Judson and 
Dr. Price were commanded to appear at the 
court of inquiry. Had they ever sent in- 
formation to foreigners about the condition 
of affairs in Burma? They replied that they 
had always written to their friends in 
America, but that they had no correspond- 
ence whatsoever with British officers. After 
their examination was over they were not 
put in confinement as were the English- 
men, but were allowed to return to their 

Upon inspecting the accounts of Mr. Gou- 
ger, the Burmese officials came upon evidence 
which to their minds fully incriminated the 
American missionaries. As it was the cus- 
tom of the Americans to receive their money 
by orders on Bengal, there were accordingly 
entries in Mr. Gouger's book recording pay- 

Ann of Ava 

ments of considerable sums to Dr. Price and 
Mr. Judson. Knowing nothing of such busi- 
ness methods, the Burmans concluded that 
the Americans were in the employ of the 
English, and were therefore spies. The dis- 
covery was reported to the king, who, in 
angry tones, ordered the immediate arrest of 
the " two teachers." 

On the 8th day of June Mr. and Mrs. 
Judson were quietly preparing for dinner, 
when suddenly the door was flung open and 
a Burmese officer rushed in, holding in his 
hand the dreaded black book, the sign of 
doom. Behind him pressed a dozen rough 
men, among them one of hideous aspect, 
whose spotted face marked him instantly as 
a " son of the prison," a jailer and execu- 
tioner. " Where is the teacher? " asked the 
officer's gruff voice. Mr. Judson immediately 
came forward. " You are called by the 
king," said the officer, in the form of speech 
used when arresting criminals. As soon as 
the fateful sentence was pronounced, the 
spotted man seized Mr. Judson, threw him 
on the floor and proceeded to bind him with 
the small cord used by the Burmans as an 


Ann of Ava 

instrument of torture. " Stay," cried Mrs. 
Judson, grasping the man's arm, " I will 
give you money." " Take her, too," was the 
officer's brutal rejoinder, " she also is a for- 
eigner." With one beseeching look Mr. Jud- 
son entreated them to leave his wife until 
further orders should be received. 

From that moment the scene was chaos 
personified. The neighbors gathered in fran- 
tic curiosity. The masons at work on the 
new brick house dropped their tools and ran. 
The little Burmese girls, JVIary and Abby, 
screamed in terror. The Bengali servants 
stood petrified with horror at the insults 
heaped upon their master. IMeanwhile, the 
spotted-faced executioner, with a kind of 
fiendish delight, tightened the cords which 
bound his prisoner. Again Mrs. Judson im- 
plored him to take the money and loosen the 
ropes, but he only spurned her offer and 
dragged her husband away, to what fate she 
dared not imagine. She gave the money to 
Moung Ing, one of the Rangoon Christians 
who had accompanied them to Ava, bidding 
him follow her husband and try to relieve 
his suffering. To her distress he came back 

Ann of Ava 

with the report that when a few rods' distant 
from the house, the hardened wretches threw 
their prisoner to the ground and drew the 
cords still tighter, so that he could scarcely 
breathe. They marched him to the court- 
house, related Moung Ing, where the gov- 
ernor and city officials were assembled. There 
the king's order was read, consigning Mr. 
Judson to the death prison, that fatal place 
from which none ever emerged save by special 
intervention of the king. 

From the court-house to the prison en- 
closure Mr. Judson was dragged, and up 
the high steps to the one dark, filthy room 
where the hapless prisoners were confined. 
" Let-ma-yoon " was the name for this cham- 
ber of horrors, a name so hideously appro- 
priate that those who knew the Burmese lan- 
guage shuddered at its mention. " Hand- 
shrink-not " was its meaning, — shrink not 
from the most revolting cruelties ever de- 
vised by mortal man or incarnate fiend. 

With the knowledge of her husband's com- 
mittal to the death prison that June day 
came to a close, leaving in Mrs. Judson's 
mind ghastly memories, but apprehensions 


Ann of Ava 

yet more horrible. From that night began 
the extraordinary series of maneuvers for 
the rescue of her husband and the other for- 
eign prisoners, which made Ann Hasseltine 
Judson known in the East and West as the 
heroine of Ava, 



THE sunshine of a June afternoon in 
the tropics beat down upon the little 
house on the river bank in Ava, 
where, on the fatal day of the arrest, Mrs. 
Judson was left alone with her Burmese 
companions. The first shock of terror was 
still upon her as she went into an inner room 
to face the horrible situation into which a 
few short hours had plunged her. An un- 
protected foreign woman in the midst of an 
lalien people whose every impulse was bent 
upon revenge! Her dearest companion in 
the world imprisoned and tortured, possibly 
doomed to death! The tragedy of her situa- 
tion has scarcely been equaled in human his- 
tory. In overwhelming grief she cast herself 
upon the love and mercy of God, imploring 
strength to endure the sufferings which 
awaited her. Only infinite goodness could 
overcome the forces of cruel ignorance let 
loose in that heathen city. 

Even the comfort of solitude was speedily 


Ann of Ava 

denied, for the tramp of feet was heard on 
the veranda and a gruff voice demanded her 
appearance. It was the magistrate of the 
city calling the wife of the foreign prisoner 
to come forth for examination. Before obey- 
ing the summons she destroyed every letter, 
journal, and manuscript in her possession 
lest their existence should reveal the fact 
that they had correspondents in England 
and that they had recorded every happening 
since arrival in the country. This task of 
precaution completed, Mrs. Judson presented 
herself before the Burmese official, who ques- 
tioned her about every minute matter sup- 
posed to lie within her knowledge. This or- 
deal over, he ordered the gate closed, for- 
bade any one to go in or out, and stationed 
a band of ruffians on guard, strictly charging 
them to keep their prisoner safe. With his 
duties thus pompously discharged the magis- 
trate strode away. 

The darkness of night fell upon the doomed 
house, and the gloom of death seemed to lurk 
in its shadows. Again Mrs. Judson took 
refuge in the inside room, drawing her little 
Burmese girls with her, and barring the door 

Ann of Ava 

behind them. Instantly the guard com- 
manded her to mifasten the door and come 
out, threatening, if she disobeyed, to break 
down the house. As persistently as they de- 
manded, she refused, and tried to frighten 
them by declaring that she would complain 
of their conduct to higher authorities. Fi- 
nally, perceiving that she was determined 
not to yield, they seized the two Bengali 
servants and thrust them into the stocks in 
most painful positions. Their plight was un- 
bearable to behold, so Mrs. Judson called 
the head man to the window and promised 
to give the guard each a present in the morn- 
ing if they would release her servants. After 
loud argument and rough threatening, they 
agreed to the bargain. Their noisy carous- 
ings and diabolical language, combined with 
the anxiety which pierced ]Mrs. Judson's mind 
like a sword, made this June night a long- 
drawn horror. Sleep was a far-away phan- 
tom and the darkness but a covert of terror. 
At the dawn of a new day Mrs. Judson's 
first move was to dispatch Moung Ing to 
the prison to find out her husband's condition 
and to give him food, if he was still alive. 


Ann of Ava 

Moung Ing returned quickly with the news 
that Mr. Judson and the other foreigners 
were confined in the death prison, each bound 
with three pairs of iron fetters and fastened 
to a long pole to prevent their moving. The 
climax of agony for Mrs. Judson lay in the 
fact that she was a prisoner herself, and 
could make no efforts for their release. 
Again and again she besought the magistrate 
for permission to go to some member of 
government and state her case, but persist- 
ently he refused, declaring that he dared not 
allow her to go lest she should make her 
escape. Foiled in this attempt, she wrote a 
letter to one of the king's sisters with whom 
she had been exceedingly friendly, beseech- 
ing her to exert her influence on behalf of 
the foreign prisoners. The note was returned 
with the message, " I do not understand it," 
which in reality was a polite refusal to inter- 
fere. Afterwards Mrs. Judson learned that 
she had been really eager to help but dared 
not risk the queen's disfavor. 

The day dragged heavily past, and the 
darkness of another night settled down upon 
the little household of burdened people. To 

Ann of Ava 

propitiate the guard, Mrs. Judson gave them 
tea and presents which softened their temper 
to such an extent that they refrained from 
molesting her throughout the night. Yet 
sleep came only in broken snatches, for per- 
petually before her mind loomed the vision 
of her husband, bound in iron fetters and 
stretched upon the prison floor. 

When morning came Mrs. Judson arose, 
keyed for action. She had at last contrived 
a way to intercede for the prisoners. A mes- 
sage was sent to the governor of the city, 
requesting him to allow her to visit him with 
a present. This device worked like a charm, 
for immediately the guard received orders 
to allow their prisoner to go into the city. 
The governor welcomed his visitor graciously 
and inquired kindly what her desire might 
be. Whereupon Mrs. Judson related the 
situation of the foreigners, especially the two 
teachers, her husband and Dr. Price, who, as 
Americans, had nothing whatsoever to do 
with the war. The governor answered that 
it was beyond his power to liberate them, but 
that he could make them more comfortable in 
prison. There was his head officer, he said, 


Ann of Ava 

indicating an evil looking man, with him she 
must make terms. The officer led her aside 
and tried to impress upon her the fact that 
he was complete master of the situation, and 
that the future comfort of herself as well as 
the prisoners depended upon the generosity 
of her presents to himself, which she must 
deliver secretly. " What must I do," said 
Mrs. Judson, " to obtain a mitigation of the 
present sufferings of the two teachers?" 
" Pay to me," said he, " two hundred ticals 
[about a hundred dollars], two pieces of fine 
cloth, and two pieces of handkerchiefs." INIrs. 
Judson had taken a considerable sum of 
money with her when she left home in the 
morning, and this she offered to the greedy 
official, who, after some hesitation, accepted 
it and promised relief to the tortured pris- 

Her next move was to request the governor 
for a passport into the prison, which request 
was granted. But for the ghastly reality 
which awaited her there the most vivid 
imagination was scarcely prepared. In her 
own story of the unhappy days in Ava, Mrs. 
Judson refused to narrate the heartrending 

Ann of Ava 

scene which took place that day at the prison 
entrance. Mr. Gouger, who hobbled to the 
wicket door at the same time, to receive his 
daily provisions, described many years later 
the pathetic meeting between the husband 
and wife. Mr. Judson crawled to the door, 
as the heavy fetters around his ankles pre- 
vented his walking. The torture of mind and 
body which he had endured was stamped 
upon his face, which was as haggard as if 
death had already claimed him. His soiled, 
unkempt condition added to the misery of his 
appearance. At sight of him, his wife buried 
her face in her hands, unable to behold the 
shocking change which two days had wrought. 
Scarcely had they begun to talk together 
when the jailers ordered her away. She 
pleaded the governor's permit, but they re- 
joined, " Depart, or we will pull you out." 
Thus she was compelled to turn her weary 
steps away from the prison and walk the 
two miles back to her house, her mind freshly 
tortured by the prison scene, which was in- 
finitely worse as a memory than as a con- 

That evening the missionaries, together 


Ann of Ava 

with the other foreigners who had advanced 
an equal sum of money, were removed from 
the common prison and confined in an open 
shed within the prison yard. Here Mrs. 
Judson was allowed to send them food, and 
mats upon which to sleep, but for several 
days entrance was denied her. 

As her mind cast about for other expe- 
dients, she resolved to send a petition to the 
queen herself. Mrs. Judson could not go in 
person to the royal palace, since no one in 
disgrace with the king was allowed admit- 
tance. Through the queen's sister-in-law, 
who in better days had shown her marked 
favor, she would intercede with her royal 
highness. Accordingly she chose a valuable 
gift and appeared in the presence of the Bur- 
mese noblewoman, who, as she entered, was 
reclining in Oriental fashion upon a carpet, 
surrounded by her attendants. Without 
waiting for the question " What do you 
want? " usually addressed to a suppliant, Mrs. 
Judson told the story of their unhappy plight 
and implored her assistance. Partly raising 
her head, she examined the present and re- 
plied coldly, " Your case is not singular ; all 

Ann of Ava 

the foreigners are treated alike." " But it is 
singular," said Mrs. Judson, " the teachers 
are Americans; they are ministers of religion, 
have nothing to do with war or politics, and 
came to Ava in obedience to the king's com- 
mand. They have never done anything to 
deserve such treatment, and is it right they 
should be treated thus?" "The king does 
as he pleases," she replied, " I am not the 
king; what can I do? " " You can state their 
case to the queen and obtain their release," 
answered Mrs. Judson. " Place yourself in 
my situation; were you in America, your hus- 
band innocent of crime, thrown into prison, 
in irons, and you a solitary, unprotected 
female, what would you do? " With a slight 
show of feeling she replied, " I will present 
your petition; come again to-morrow." This 
assurance sent Mrs. Judson homeward with 
the expectation, perhaps unwarranted, that 
the day of freedom was at hand. 

On the morrow, however, her heart sank 
within her as she heard the news that Mr. 
Gouger's property, to the amount of fifty 
thousand rupees, had been seized and trans- 
ferred to the palace. The officers, as they 


Ann of Ava 

returned from the confiscation, informed 
Mrs. Judson that they should visit her house 
the next day. It was a timely warning and 
she acted upon it by hiding away as much 
silver and as many precious possessions as she 
dared. As she thought of the danger in- 
volved in the act, her mind quivered with fear. 
If detected, her own imprisonment might be 
the penalty. On the other hand the measure 
was imperative, since, if war should be pro- 
tracted, there would be no way of procuring 
money, and starvation would be their doom. 
True to their word, the officers appeared 
the following morning with an order from 
the king to seize the property of the mission- 
aries. A lordly retinue seemed to be re- 
quired to take away the possessions of a soli- 
tary foreign woman. The procession which 
approached the house was led by three Bur- 
mese noblemen, followed by a band of forty 
or fifty attendants. The lady whom they 
had come to dispossess of all she owned, re- 
ceived her visitors with marked courtesy, 
offering them chairs, and treating them with 
tea and sweetmeats. They responded to her 
courtesy and to the high courage of her 

Ann of Ava 

womanhood by conducting their disagreeable 
business with more kindliness than Mrs. Jud- 
son had ever expected to find in a Burmese 
official. Only the high dignitaries entered 
the house, the attendants being ordered to 
wait outside. Perceiving the grief which 
Mrs. Judson could not conceal, they even 
apologized for the necessity of their task, 
which they claimed was painful to them. 

" Where are your silver, gold, and jew- 
els? " inquired the royal treasurer. " I have 
no gold or jewels," answered Mrs. Judson, 
" but here is the key of a trunk which con- 
tains the silver, do with it as you please." 
The trunk was opened and the silver weighed. 
" This money," interposed Mrs. Judson, 
" was collected in America by the disciples 
of Christ, and sent here for the purpose of 
building a kyoung (a priest's dwelling), and 
for our support while teaching the religion 
of Christ. Is it suitable that you should take 
it?" The Burmese are habitually opposed 
to the acceptance of money given for religious 
purposes, hence the shrewdness of Mrs. Jud- 
son's appeal. " We will state this circum- 
stance to the king," replied an officer, " per- 


Ann of Ava 

haps he will restore it. But is this all the 
silver you have?" "The house is in your 
possession," she said, evading a direct reply, 
" search for yourselves." " Have you not 
deposited silver with some person of your 
acquaintance?" "My acquaintances are all 
in prison; with whom should I deposit 

Examination of Mrs. Judson's trunk and 
dresser was the next command, and with 
some nicety of consideration they permitted 
only one of their number to attend her in 
this search. Everything which appealed to 
him as valuable or interesting was submitted 
to the other officials for decision as to whether 
it should be taken or left. Mrs. Judson sug- 
gested the impropriety of taking partly worn 
clothing into the presence of the king, to 
which they agreed, and simply made a list 
of wearing apparel, doing the same with the 
books and medicine. Two particular treas- 
ures, a little work-table and a rocking-chair, 
were recovered from their grasp by a bit of 
stratagem on Mrs. Judson's part. Many 
other articles of unspeakable value to her 
during the months which followed, were left 

Ann of Ava 

behind when the work of confiscation was 
completed. Still, it was a ravaged, desolate 
home from which the officers and their staff 
departed that June day. 

Scarcely had they disappeared down the 
road, when Mrs. Judson hastened to the 
house of the queen's sister-in-law to learn 
the result of yesterday's appeal. Loss of 
property was a mere bagatelle compared with 
her husband's imprisonment. To secure his 
release was a task which absorbed all her 
energies and fondest hopes, and, as time 
went on, exacted a superhuman patience. 
With hopefulness unrestrained, Mrs. Judson 
entered the presence of the Burmese noble- 
woman. " I stated your case to the queen," 
coolly announced her ladyship, " but her 
majesty replied, ' The teachers mil not die; 
let them remain as they are.' " Mrs. Judson's 
spirits dropped like a meteor from the high 
region of expectancy into an abyss of dis- 
appointment. With fatal perception she 
knew that if the queen refused to help there 
was no one who woidd dare to intercede on 
their behalf. *' Weary and heavy-laden " she 
turned away and retraced her homeward 


Ann of Ava 

course by way of the prison, seeking the 
solace of a few minutes in her husband's com- 
pany. At the prison gate she was gruffly 
denied admittance, and for ten days she was 
forbidden to enter, despite daily appeal. The 
husband and wife then resorted to letter- 
writing, but after a few days the scheme was 
discovered and their messenger punished by 
beating and confinement in the stocks. They 
themselves were fined about ten dollars, be- 
sides suffering a torment of fear for the pos- 
sible consequences of their daring. 

On the morning following the seizure of 
her property ]Mrs. Judson visited the gov- 
ernor of the city, there to be met by a vig- 
orous rebuke. " You are very bad," said the 
governor by way of greeting, " why did you 
tell the royal treasurer that you had given 
me so much money? " During the process 
of confiscation the officers had asked JNIrs. 
Judson how much money she had paid the 
governor and prison officers to secure the 
removal of the teachers from the inner prison. 
Naturally she had told the truth in reply, 
whereupon the officers went straightway to 
the governor and extorted from him the sum 

Ann of Ava 

stated. He became furiously angry and 
threatened to replace the teachers in their 
former condition inside the death prison. To 
his accusation Mrs. Judson replied naively, 
" The treasurer inquired; what could I say? " 
" Say that you had given nothing," retorted 
the governor, " and I would have made the 
teachers comfortable in prison; but now I 
know not what will be their fate." " But I 
cannot tell a falsehood," asserted Mrs. Jud- 
son, "my religion is different from yours; it 
forbids prevarication; and had you stood by 
me with your knife raised I could not have 
said what you suggest." At this juncture 
the governor's wife joined in the conversa- 
tion. " Very true ; what else could she have 
done? I like such straightforward conduct; 
you must not be angry with her." From that 
moment the governor's wife became her stead- 
fast friend. 

At this welcome interruption, Mrs. Judson 
took opportunity to present to the offended 
magistrate a beautiful opera glass recently 
received from England, at the same time 
begging him not to vent his displeasure upon 
the innocent prisoners, promising to recom- 


Ann of Ava 

pense him from time to time for the loss he 
had sustained on her account. *' You may 
intercede for your husband only; for your 
sake he shall remain where he is; but let the 
other prisoners take care of themselves." 
Mrs. Judson pleaded earnestly for Dr. Price, 
but the governor was immovable. That very 
day he was returned to the dreadful prison 
filled with human victims, vermin, heat, and 
torture. After ten days he was again re- 
moved to the open shed, by virtue of a prom- 
ised gift on his part and gifts received from 
Mrs. Judson. 

From that time on Mrs. Judson's life be- 
came a perpetual series of maneuvers to se- 
cure the favor of government officials on be- 
half of her husband. Scarcely a day passed 
without a visit to some member of the royal 
family or government staff, when, with diplo- 
macy unsurpassed in a woman, she pleaded 
the cause of the foreign prisoners. To no 
avail were these daily visitations, save that 
frequent encouraging promises saved her 
from despair, and that, among those in high 
authority, many became her loyal friends 
who later aided with secret gifts of food and 

Ann of Ava 

tried indirectly to create the impression in 
the royal palace that the Americans were in 
no degree responsible for the war. Yet to 
intercede with the king or queen for repeal 
of the prison sentence no one had the courage 
so long as the British troops were continually 
defeating the armies of Burma. 

Meanwhile, inside the prison enclosure, Mr. 
Judson and his companions suffered persecu- 
tions which the intrepid, resourceful wife 
could in no wise avert. Sometimes they were 
forbidden to speak to one another or to com- 
municate with friends outside. Again they 
would be compelled to pay bribes for the de- 
livery of their food or for the most trifling 
favors. At times the use of water was pro- 
hibited and fresh clothing denied them. Al- 
ways three pairs of heavy fetters bound their 
ankles so closely that a shuffle of a few inches 
was the only possible step. Again and again 
they sought to close their eyes and ears when 
some fellow prisoner was tortured with the 
cord or iron mallet, or led forth at the fatal 
hour of three in the afternoon for execution. 

Against this black background of horrors 
Mr. Judson's faith in God was like a shining 


Ann of Ava 

star. Often he was heard repeating to him- 
self the verses of Madame Guyon: 

No place I seek, but to fulfil, 

In life and death, Thy lovely will; 

No succor in my woes I want, 

Except what Thou art pleased to grant. *' 

Many a time he expressed his belief in the 
beneficial outcome of the war: *' Here have 
I been," said he, " ten years preaching the 
gospel to timid listeners who wished to em- 
brace the truth but dared not; beseeching 
the emperor to grant liberty of conscience 
to his people, but without success; and now, 
when all human means seemed at an end, 
God opens the way by leading a Christian 
nation to subdue the country. It is possible 
that my life may be spared, if so, with what 
ardor and gratitude shall I pursue my work; 
and if not, his will be done; the door will be 
opened for others who will do the work bet- 
ter." Thus spoke another " ambassador in 
chains," with the same ring in his voice, the 
same thrill in his soul as was heard eighteen 
hundred years before in the Roman prison 
where Saint Paul, the first foreign mission- 
ary, was held in captivity. 

Ann of Ava 

Not satisfied with tormenting their imme- 
diate victims, the prison officials spent the 
remnant of their ill temper upon JNIrs. Jud- 
son. For days in succession they forbade her 
to enter the prison until darkness fell, after 
which she would be compelled to walk two 
miles through the city streets to reach home. 
" O, how many, many times," she wrote later 
to her brother-in-law, " have I returned from 
that dreary prison at nine o'clock at night, 
solitary, and worn out with fatigue and 
anxiety, and thrown myself down in that 
same rocking-chair which you and Deacon L. 
provided for me in Boston, and endeavored 
to invent some new scheme for the release 
of the prisoners. Sometimes, for a moment 
or two, my thoughts would glance toward 
America, and my beloved friends there; but 
for nearly a year and a half, so entirely en- 
grossed was every thought with present 
scenes and sufferings, that I seldom reflected 
on a single occurrence of my former life or 
recollected that I had a friend in existence 
out of Ava." 

To Mrs. Judson the foreign prisoners owed 
everything that made prison life tolerable. 


Ann of Ava 

Her husband was entirely dependent upon 
her for food and clothing, and often her re- 
sources were taxed to the utmost for a suffi- 
cient supply. For weeks at a time the only 
food she could procure was rice savored with 
ngapee, a preparation of fish, not altogether 
appetizing. One day she contrived a big 
surprise for her husband, and sent it by 
Moung Ing to the prison. It was actually 
a New England mince pie manufactured by 
much ingenuity and perseverance out of 
buffalo beef and plantains! The simple little 
act of devotion touched the imprisoned man 
to the quick. He had seen his wife standing 
like a queen at the prison gate; he had heard 
how she walked through the streets of Ava 
protected by an almost enchanted dignity, 
how her matchless courage won the hearts of 
jailers and nobles alike. Almost could he 
thank God for trials which had caused the 
glory of her womanhood to shine with such 
luster. But this little touch of home was too 
much. He bowed his head upon his knees 
and the tears rolled down upon the iron fet- 
ters which bound his ankles. 

Meanwhile the war was pushed with energy 

Ann of Ava 

and determination despite continual defeat. 
Bandoola alone had contrived to vanquish the 
British army, and, in recognition of his 
prowess, was recalled to Ava to be given com- 
mand of the army sent to Rangoon. While 
in the city he was absolute master of affairs, 
honored beyond the king himself. To this 
popular favorite Mrs. Judson resolved to ap- 
peal for the release of the imprisoned mis- 
sionaries. Government officials warned her 
that it was a foolhardy act, but it was her 
last resort, and she could not forbear the at- 
tempt. In secret Mr. Judson wrote a peti- 
tion and one momentous day Mrs. Judson 
entered with fear and trembling into the 
presence of the proud general, surrounded 
by a crowd of flattering minions. One of 
his secretaries took the petition from her hand 
and read it aloud while Bandoola listened at- 
tentively, and at its finish spoke graciously 
to his suppliant, bidding her come again for 
his answer. In a few days she returned, 
taking with her a valuable present. Ban- 
doola was not at home to receive her, but he 
had left a message with his wife which she 
modestly repeated to Mrs. Judson: " He was 


Ann of Ava 

now very busily employed in making prep- 
arations for Rangoon, but when he had re^ 
taken that place and expelled the British, 
he would return and release all the prisoners." 
An empty boast for Bandoola, and an empty 
hope for Mrs. Judson! 

From that day she gave up the idea of 
escape from prison until the war should be 
ended. Yet she must continue those concilia- 
tory visits to members of the government, lest 
the prisoners should forfeit the small measure 
of favor granted them. The governor of the 
city always gave her friendly welcome; in 
fact, set apart definite hours every other day 
when he counted on her coming to talk with 
him about American customs. He also per- 
mitted her to erect a little bamboo shelter 
in the prison yard, where Mr. Judson could 
stay part of the time by himself, and where 
she was sometimes allowed at her visits to 
spend two or three precious hours in his 

Thus passed the days of that fatal year, 

one by one, until in January Mrs. Judson 

was seen no more in her usual haunts. Her 

husband, writhing in the fetters which kept 


Ann of Ava 

him from going to her help, knew the cause 
of his wife's absence, which lengthened into 
weeks. He alone realized the loneliness and 
privation she was enduring in that uncivilized 
city, because, in the little house on the river 
bank, a baby child had come into the broken, 
suffering lives of its parents. Had it not 
been for God, who had never failed them 
even in their bitter affliction, Mr. Judson's 
agonizing fear for his wife would have passed 
endurance. God's goodness would yet master 
this cruel oppression. 

Twenty days after her birth the baby 
Maria was carried to the prison to greet her 
father. Long before this time Mrs. Judson 
had adopted the Burmese dress, believing 
that the native costume would win the favor 
of the people. There she stood at the prison 
door, her bro^n curls drawn back from her 
forehead and fastened with a fragrant coco- 
blossom, her richly colored gown, the gift of 
the governor's wife, clinging closely about 
her figure which seemed to gain height and 
stateliness from the costume designed for 
women of smaller stature. In contrast to 
the Oriental hues of her dress, her face was 


Ann of Ava 

white and sad, but inexpressibly sweet. In 
her arms lay the pale, blue-eyed baby, crying 
as hard as if she understood the scene be- 
fore her. Mr. Judson crawled forth to meet 
them, and for the first time took his child in 
his arms. Afterwards, during the long hours 
in the prison he composed some twenty-four 
stanzas addressed to an " Infant Daughter, 
twenty days old, in the condemned prison 
at Ava." 

When Maria was two months old, her 
mother one day received a frightful message 
from the prison. Mr. Judson and all the for- 
eigners had been cast into the inner prison 
and bound with five pairs of fetters. His 
little bamboo room had been torn down, and 
mat, pillow, and other possessions seized by 
the jailers. The defeat of Bandoola and the 
annihilation of his army, together with the 
advance of the British forces toward Ava, 
had been the cause of these vindictive meas- 
ures against the foreign prisoners. 

Mrs. Judson set forth at once for the 
governor's house to see what could be done. 
The governor was not at home, but, antici- 
pating her visit, had left a message with his 

Ann of Ava 

wife bidding her not to ask to have the extra 
fetters removed, nor the prisoners released, 
jor it could not be done. From the govern- 
or's house she went across to the prison 
gate but was forbidden to enter. The still- 
ness of death hung over the prison yard. 
Not a white face was visible, and not a rem- 
nant of Mr. Judson's little shelter was left. 
Behind that closed door lay her husband in 
the filth and misery of the death prison, and 
here was she, only a few rods distant, but 
powerless to reach him or ease his suffering. 
There was naught to be done but return 
home and come again at an hour when the 
governor was sure to be accessible. 

In the evening she traversed again the 
two miles to the governor's house, which was 
opposite the prison gate. As she entered the 
audience room the governor looked up but 
did not speak, and his face expressed shame 
and pretended anger combined. Mrs. Jud- 
son opened the conversation. " Your lord- 
ship has hitherto treated us with the kindness 
of a father. Our obligations to you are very 
great. We have looked to you for protection 
from oppression and cruelty. You have 


Ann of Ava 

promised me particularly that you would 
stand by me to the last, and though you 
should receive an order from the king, you 
would not put Mr. Judson to death. What 
crime has he committed to deserv^e such ad- 
ditional punishment?" At her words the 
old man broke down and cried like a child. 
" I pity you, Tsa-yah-ga-dau," the name by 
which he always called Mrs. Judson, " I knew 
you would make me feel; I therefore for- 
bade your application. But you must be- 
lieve me when I say I do not wish to increase 
the sufferings of the prisoners. When I am 
ordered to execute them, the least that I can 
do is to put them out of sight. I will now 
tell you what I have never told you before, 
that three times I have received intimations 
from the queen's brother to assassinate all the 
white prisoners privately, but I would not 
do it. And I now repeat it, though I ex- 
ecute all the others, I will never execute your 
husband. But I cannot release him from 
his present confinement and you must not 
ask it." Never before had Mrs. Judson seen 
the governor display so much feeling nor 
such firnmess in denymg her a favor. His 

Ann of Ava 

words and manner aroused her worst fore- 
bodings for the future. 

Meanwhile the scene within the death 
prison in Ava was not unlike the hell depicted 
by Dante and Milton, save that here there 
were a few brave spirits who " were still in 
heart and conscience free." The Let-ma- 
yoon was an old wooden building about forty 
feet long and thirty feet wide. It had no 
means of ventilation save crevices between 
the flimsy boards, no protection from the 
burning sun save the thin roof. Inside this 
one room were confined more than a hundred 
prisoners, men and women, most of them 
chained or fastened in the stocks. The white 
prisoners were huddled in a corner, and a 
bamboo pole was thrust between the chains 
around their ankles, which at night was 
hoisted to an angle which left only the 
shoulders resting upon the ground. Occa- 
sionally Mrs. Judson was allowed to go to 
the prison door for five minutes, but mind 
and heart reeled at the sight of such misery. 
By dint of repeated appeals she won permis- 
sion for the foreigners to eat their meals out- 
side, but even this privilege was short-lived. 


Ann of Ava 

After more than a month in this vile place, 
Mr. Judson was taken sick with fever. His 
wife perceived that he could not live unless 
removed to more wholesome quarters. Con- 
sequently, that she might be near the prison 
and might the more frequently entreat the 
governor for mercy, she moved from their 
house on the river bank to a one-room shelter 
which the governor permitted her to build 
on his premises. At last, worn out by her 
entreaties, he gave her an official order for 
Mr. Judson's removal, and a permit for her 
to visit him at any hour to give medicines. 
Accordingly Mr. Judson exchanged the 
filthy prison for a little bamboo hovel, so 
low that they could not stand upright, but, 
as Mrs. Judson said, " a palace compared 
with the place he had left." 

Here, one morning after breakfast, Mrs. 
Judson was lingering with her husband, when 
suddenly a message was received from the 
governor bidding her come to him at once. 
Somewhat alarmed by such unusual summons 
she hastily obeyed. To her relief the gov- 
ernor made only some idle queries about his 
watch and engaged her in affable conversa- 

Ann of Ava 

tion for some time. Unsuspectingly she took 
her leave and started in the direction of her 
room, when a servant came running toward 
her, his face pale with fright. " The white 
prisoners have all been carried away," he 
gasped. Scarcely believing so amazing a 
report, she hastened back to the governor, 
who said he had just heard the news but was 
loath to tell her. 

Distractedly she ran into the street, seeking 
to get a glimpse of the fugitives this way or 
that. But they were nowhere in sight. She 
darted down one street, then another, asking 
every one she met, but no one would give 
her an answer. At last an old woman de- 
clared that the prisoners had gone toward 
the little river on the way to Amarapoora. 
Mrs. Judson ran half a mile to the river 
bank, but no trace of the foreigners. Some 
friendly persons hurried to the place of ex- 
ecution, but lo, they were not there! Again 
she resorted to the governor for help, but 
he could only promise to dispatch a servant 
to discover their fate. " You can do nothing 
more for your husband," he said with slow 
emphasis, " take care of yourself." With 


Ann of Ava 

the governor's warning ringing in her ears 
she looked across to the desolate prison whose 
silent walls gave no answer to her restless 
question, Where, where ,are the foreign 




A BURMESE cart is at best a bungling 
LjL contrivance for speed or comfort. 
^ JL Its wheels are simply round pieces 
of timber with holes in the center, through 
wliich a pole is passed to support the body 
of the conveyance. Springs and cushions 
are luxuries unknown. Through the sand 
and gravel of the hot season, and the fathom- 
less mud of the rainy season, the cart lurches 
and plimges at the uneven tread of the oxen. 
One day in May, 1825, a cart of the usual 
variety bumped and thumped with the usual 
violence along the hot, dusty highway leading 
from Ava to Amarapoora. Under its shabby 
cover sat a motley group of travelers, — two 
little Burmese girls, a Bengali sei'vant, and 
an American woman with a baby in her arms. 
From Ava, in the early morning, the little 
party had set forth, conveyed for a few 
miles in a covered boat on the " little river," 


Ann of Ava 

and then transferred to the stuffy, jolting 
cart for the remaining two miles. 

At Amarapoora, their expected destina- 
tion, a disappointment fell upon the band of 
travelers. The object of their journey was 
not yet attained, for lo, the prisoners who had 
yesterday been removed by stealth from the 
death prison at Ava, were not to be found 
at Amarapoora. Only two hours before they 
had been sent on their way to a village four 
miles beyond. 

Mrs. Judson, the leader of this little search 
party, or relief expedition, gave orders to 
proceed, but their cartman stolidly refused 
to go further. Under the scorching sun of 
midday she bartered and cajoled for an hour, 
until another cartman agreed to convey them 
to Aungbinle, the miserable goal of their 
journey. Throughout that day of travel 
Mrs. Judson held the baby Maria in her arms 
with no relaxation of tired muscles and 

In the late afternoon, the village of Aung- 
binle was reached and the prison, the central 
place of interest, sought with haste. It was 
an old, tumble-down building in the last 

Ann of Ava 

stages of dilapidation. Some workmen were 
on the top trying to manufacture a roof of 
leaves. While their abode was thus being 
prepared, the prisoners huddled together 
under a low projection outside, chained two 
and two and nearly dead with the immense 
discomfort of the journey. 

There Mrs. Judson found her husband, a 
ghost of his former self, even his prison self. 
He gathered strength to say, " Why have 
you come? I hoped you would not follow, 
for you cannot live here." 

Darkness was falling and Mrs. Judson 
had no shelter for the night. Might she put 
up a little bamboo house near the prison, she 
asked the jailer? "No," he answered, "it 
is not customary." Would he then find her 
a place where she might spend the night? He 
led her to his own house, which consisted of 
two small rooms one of which he placed at 
her disposal. It was a poor little place, half 
filled with grain and accumulated dirt, yet 
it harbored Mrs. Judson and her children 
not for one night only but for a long succes- 
sion of nights and days. Some half-boiled 
water stayed her thirst and hunger that first 


Ann of Ava 

night, when upon a mat spread over the 
grain she and her baby dropped in utter 

In the morning she listened to the mourn- 
ful tale her husband had to tell of the march 
of the prisoners from Ava to Aungbinle. 
Scarcely had she left the prison yard at 
Ava two days ago — so the story ran — when 
a jailer rushed in, seized JMr. Judson by the 
arm, stripped off his clothing, except shirt 
and pantaloons, tore off his fetters, tied a 
rope around his waist and dragged him to 
the court-house, where he found the other for- 
eign prisoners already assembled in a discon- 
solate group. As soon as he arrived they 
were tied together two by two and the ropes 
given like reins into the hands of slaves who 
were to be their drivers. The lainine-woon, 
the officer in charge, mounted his horse and 
gave orders for the procession to start. 

It was then eleven o'clock in the day, in 
the month of May, one of the hottest months 
of the year. Hats and shoes had been seized 
by the jailers, so there was no protection 
from the direct rays of the sim above or the 
sun-baked earth beneath. They had pro- 

A Burmese Cart 

Ann of Ava 

ceeded about half a mile when JMr. Judson's 
feet became blistered and his fevered body 
so exhausted that, as they crossed the " little 
river," he would gladly have thrown himself 
into its cool waters and escaped his misery 
forever. But quickly he dispelled the thought 
as cowardice unworthy a Christian man. 
They had still eight jniles to travel! 

Before long the prisoners' bare feet became 
entirely destitute of skin. Every step was 
like treading upon burning coals, yet their 
brutal keepers goaded them on without 
merc3^ When about half way they stopped 
for water and JNIr. Judson piteously begged 
the lamine-woon to allow him to ride his 
horse a mile or two as it seemed as if he 
could not take another step. A scathing, 
contemptuous look was the only reply he 
received. He then asked Captain Laird, with 
w^hom he was tied, and who was a robust 
man, if he might lean upon his shoulder as 
he walked. Captain Laird consented, and so 
long as his strength lasted, supported his 
fellow traveler as thej^ toiled along together. 
Just as the limit of endurance was reached, 
a Bengali servant of Mr. Gouger's joined 


Ann of Ava 

the ranks, and perceiving ]\Ir. Judson's 
agony, tore off his Indian head-dress made 
of cloth and gave half to his master and half 
to Mr. Judson. It was the work of a few 
seconds to wrap the cloth around the bruised 
feet and resume the march which must not 
be halted for sick or wounded prisoners. 
The Bengali then walked by Mr. Judson's 
side and almost carried him the rest of the 
way. Had it not been for his timely help 
Mr. Judson would probably have met the 
fate of their Greek fellow-prisoner who fell 
by the way, was beaten and dragged until 
his drivers were themselves weary, then car- 
ried in a cart to Amarapoora, where he died 
an hour after his arrival. 

At Amarapoora the lamine-woon reluc- 
tantly decided to encamp for the night, realiz- 
ing that his prisoners would perish on the 
way if forced to go on to Aungbinle that 
day. An old shed was secured for their rest- 
ing-place, but what mockery was it of the 
word when none of the necessities of the 
night were provided to ease their dreadful 
fatigue! Moved by feminine curiosity the 
wife of the lamine-woon came to look upon 

Ann of Ava 

the foreign prisoners, and something more 
than curiosity stirred within her at the sight. 
She went away and ordered fruit, sugar, and 
tamarinds for their supper, and rice for their 
breakfast, which was the only food supply 
granted the famished men on their journey. 

In the morning no member of the battered 
regiment was able to walk, and carts were 
furnished for their transfer to Aungbinle. 
As they neared the journey's end, they spent 
their small residue of strength surmising the 
fate which was to befall them. Upon sight 
of the dilapidated prison they concluded with 
one accord that they were to be burned to 
death, just as the rumor circulated at Ava 
had predicted. They were endeavoring to 
fortify their souls for this awful doom when 
a band of workmen appeared and began re- 
pairing the prison. It was about this time 
that Mrs. Judson came to the end of her 
toilsome journey in the prison yard at 

Life in this uncivilized inland village 
marked a new stage in the suffering career 
of Mrs. Judson. It was now a fight for 
mere existence, for the bare necessities which 


Ann of Ava 

hold body and soul together. The village 
boasted no market for food supplies and 
scarcely a roof to cover the homeless stranger. 
With her husband chained in the prison, her 
three-months-old baby dependent upon her 
for the very breath of life, two Burmese 
children clamoring for food and raiment, and 
a forlorn little heathen village as a back- 
ground. Problem would hardly spell Mrs. 
Judson's predicament. 

The first of the new series of tragic ad- 
ventures befell the Judson family the next 
day after their arrival in Aungbinle. Small- 
pox entered their household and fastened 
itself upon Mary Hasseltine, one of the Bur- 
mese girls whom they had adopted. Child 
though she was, Mary had been ]Mrs. Jud- 
son's only helper in the care of the baby 
Maria. Now the overtaxed mother must 
divide her time between the sick child at home 
and the sick husband in prison, who was still 
suffering from fever and his sorely-mangled 
feet. From da^vn to dark Mrs. Judson went 
from the house to the prison, from the prison 
to the house, back and forth, the baby borne 
always in her arms. Though she contracted 

Ann of Ava 

a mild form of smallpox herself, she still 
continued her round of ministrations, serving 
not only her own family, but the entire com- 
munity as well, since every child, young and 
old, who had never had smallpox was brought 
to her for vaccination I She had experi- 
mented upon the jailer's children with such 
success that her fame spread through the 
village. The foreign lady evidently pos- 
sessed some charm whereby to ward off or 
lighten disease. 

Gradually her patients recovered and the 
prisoners were established in more comfort- 
able condition than in the death prison at 
Ava, being bound with one pair of fetters 
in lieu of three and five. But for Mrs. Jud- 
son the limit of physical endurance was 
reached. She had spent her strength for 
others' needs until there was none left to 
her credit and a miserable tropical disease 
took possession of her worn body. She be- 
came so weak that she could barely crawl to 
the prison. Yet in this pitiable condition 
she set forth in a Burmese cart to go to Ava 
in quest of medicines and food. Upon reach- 
ing the deserted house on the river bank she 


Ann of Ava 

was stricken with such a desperate attack that 
death seemed the only possible outcome, and 
to die near her husband's prison in Aung- 
binle, the one remaining desire in life. By 
taking small doses of laudanum at intervals 
she succeeded in quelling the disease to such 
an extent, that though unable to stand, she 
made the return journey by boat on the river 
and by cart through the mud to Aungbinle. 

In sickness, home becomes the one charmed 
spot on earth, but what a home-coming was 
this! The end of the journey measured the 
end of endurance. The last vestige of 
strength vanished and her tremendous power 
of will was overthro^vn by the violence of the 
disease. The Bengali cook, who had been 
left in charge, came out to help his mistress, 
but at sight of her he burst into tears, so 
changed and emaciated had she become in 
the few days' absence. She stumbled into 
the little crowded room and dropped upon 
the mat, where she lay for two months, help- 
less with pain and weakness. 

During Mrs. Judson's sickness the Ben- 
gali cook came valiantly to the rescue of the 
afflicted family. Day after day he provided 

Ann of Ava 

and cooked the food, sometimes walking long 
distances for fuel and water, oftentimes de- 
laying his o^vn meal until night-time that his 
patients' needs might be first supplied. He 
forgot caste and wages in his anxiety to 
serve the foreigners whom he loved. To this 
Hindu servant the Judson family owed the 
preservation of their lives during those weeks 
of dire want and misery. 

Upon the youngest of their number fell 
the sharp edge of their misfortunes. Be- 
cause of her mother's sickness the baby 
JNIaria was deprived of her natural food 
supply and no milk could be obtained in 
the village. Night after night the sick 
mother was compelled to listen to the wails 
of her child who was crying for food, and 
there was none to give! By sending presents 
to the jailers Mrs. Judson won permission 
for her husband to carry the baby through 
the village begging a few drops of nourish- 
ment from those Burmese mothers who had 
young children. Afterwards, in narrating 
her experiences to the home people in 
America, Mrs. Judson wrote : " I now began 
to think the very afflictions of Job had come 


Ann of Ava 

upon me. When in health, I could bear the 
various trials and vicissitudes through which 
I was called to pass. But to be confined 
with sickness and unable to assist those who 
were so dear to me, when in distress, was 
almost too much for me to bear, and had it 
not been for the consolations of religion, and 
an assured conviction that every additional 
trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, 
I must have sunk under my accumulated 

To the stricken band of prisoners there 
came one day a faint gleam of hope. The 
pakan-woon had been convicted of high 
treason to the empire and promptly executed. 
Now this pakan-woon was the Burmese offi- 
cer who boldly aspired to take Bandoola's 
place after his defeat and death. He made 
fair promises of large pay to the soldiers and 
guaranties of victory over the British army, 
so that the king was dazzled by his easy- 
going assurance and committed all power 
into his hands. He was the bitter enemy of 
foreigners and it was during his high-handed 
reign that the foreign prisoners were removed 
from Ava to Aungbinle. They now learned 

Ann of Ava 

for a certainty that he had sent them to the 
remote village for the express purpose of 
slaughtering them there, and of coming 
himself to witness the gruesome spectacle. 
Frequently the news had spread through the 
prison of his expected arrival, but for what 
devilish intent no one had suspected. His 
death brought extension of life and hope to 
the war captives at Aungbinle. 

It was not until six months had been lived 
out in the country prison and its environs 
that hope of escape definitely entered the 
Judson household. One day in November, 
1825, a courier came to their door bearing a 
message from Mrs. Judson's loyal friend, 
the governor, in Ava. Last night, so the 
letter read, an edict was issued in the royal 
palace for Mr. Judson's release from prison. 
The news was corroborated later in the day 
by an official order repealing the prison sen- 
tence. With a joyful heart Mrs. Judson 
made preparations for departure in the early 
morning, when, lo, her plans were frustrated 
by the dastardly conduct of the jailers, who 
insisted that Mrs. Judson's name was not 
mentioned in the official document, therefore 


Ann of Ava 

they could not permit her to leave the place. 
" But I was not sent here as a prisoner," 
she protested, " you have no authority over 
me." But no, she could not go, and the 
villagers should not be allowed to provide a 
cart for her conveyance. At this juncture 
Mr. Judson was removed from the prison 
to the jailer's house, where, by threats and 
persuasions added to gifts of provisions, 
they agreed to let Mrs. Judson depart with 
her husband. 

It was noon the next day when the Judson 
family, accompanied by an official guard, left 
Aungbinle to return to Ava. At Amara- 
poora on the way Mr. Judson was detained 
for examination, and forwarded thence to the 
court-house at Ava. With her little body- 
guard of children Mrs. Judson pursued her 
own course and reached the house on the 
river bank at dusk. 

In the morning she went in search of her 
husband and to her dismay found him again 
in prison, though not the death prison. She 
hastened to her old friend, the governor, and 
besought an explanation. He informed her 
that Mr. Judson had been appointed inter- 

Ann of Ava 

preter for the Burman army in its negotia- 
tions with the British and that he was to 
go straightway to the army camp at JNlaloun. 

Accordingly, on the morrow Mrs. Judson 
bade her husband farewell, while he em- 
barked on the crude little river craft for the 
passage to Maloun. Upon arrival at camp, 
he was compelled to enter at once upon his 
task as interpreter, without so much as an 
hour to recuperate his lost energy. His stay 
in camp lasted six weeks and entailed suffer- 
ings equal to his prison experience, with the 
difference that chains were subtracted and 
hard work added. 

JSIeantime ISIrs. Judson drew a breath of 
relief, supposing that the value of her hus- 
band's services as interpreter would insure 
him kind treatment in the Burmese camp. 
Ignorance of liis actual situation was a mercy, 
for there was no room in her life at this time 
for the added burden of anxiety. Day by 
day her power of resistance grew less until 
she fell prey to that horrible disease, spotted 
fever. On the very day when she first 
recognized its fatal symptoms, a Burmese 
woman came to the door and volunteered her 


Ann of Ava 

services as nurse for ^laria. This incident 
was a direct expression of God's watchful 
care, because repeatedly she had sought to 
find a nurse for the baby and failed. Now 
in her exigency the help came without solici- 

Once given entrance, the fever ran its 
course with violence. At the outset Mrs. 
Judson measured her weakness against its 
virulence and concluded it must be a losing 
fight. As the disease developed she tried 
to think how she could provide for little 
Maria in the event of her death and decided 
to commit her to the care of a Portuguese 
woman. As her mind was grappling with 
this painful question, reason failed, and trials 
and tribulations were swept into a whirl of 

At this crucial moment Dr. Price was re- 
leased from prison and hastened to her bed- 
side. Had the doctor's coming been delayed 
a few hours she would probably have passed 
beyond human aid. In fact, the Burmese 
neighbors, in their childish curiosity, had al- 
ready crowded into the house to look with 
wondering eyes upon the solemn spectacle 

Ann of Avxi 

of death. " She is dead," they said in awe- 
stricken tones, " and if the king of angels 
should come in he could not save her." 

Yet Dr. Price bent all his energies to the 
task of restoring the life which was being 
given in vicarious sacrifice for the Burmese 
people, though they knew it not. Vigorous 
measures were prescribed; her head was 
shaved and blisters applied to head and feet; 
the Bengali servant was ordered to press 
upon her the nourishment she had refused 
for days. As consciousness gradually re- 
turned, after days of delirium, her first real- 
ization was of this faithful servant standing 
by her bedside urging her to take a little 
wine and water. 

By microscopic degrees, health, or its 
semblance, came again to the life shattered 
by anxiety, privation, and disease. One day 
during the slow convalescence, while she was 
still too weak to stand upon her feet, a mes- 
sage was brought to the sick room which left 
a panic of joy and fear in its train. Mr. 
Judson had been sent back to Ava and was 
under detention at the court-house. What was 
to be his fate the messenger could not say I 


Ann of Ava 

During the night Mr. Judson had entered 
the city and had traversed the very street 
which passed his own door! A feeble little 
light glimmered within telling him the house 
was not unoccupied. But what unknown and 
fearful events might have taken place in 
those six weeks of absence! Oh, for one look 
behind that closed door! He begged, bribed, 
cajoled, and threatened the jailers who con- 
stituted his guard, but to no avail. They 
pleaded the official command to deliver their 
prisoner without delay at the court-house, 
which command they dared not disobey. 
Consequently, Mr. Judson finished the night 
in an outbuilding near the court-house, specu- 
lating anxiously as to his probable fate. On 
the river journey to Maloun he had chanced 
to see the official communication which ac- 
companied him to Ava, " We have no further 
use for Yoodthan," the message read, *' we 
therefore return him to the golden city." 
What new task would the " golden city " ex- 
act of its foreign captive before the price of 
liberty should be fully paid? 

On the morrow Mr. Judson was summoned 
before the court session and hurriedly ex- 

Ann of Ava 

amined. Not one of his acquaintances was 
present at court that morning to identify him 
and explain the curt message forwarded from 
Maloun. " From what place was he sent to 
Maloun?" inquired the presiding officer. 
" From Aungbinle," was the reply. *' Let 
him then be returned thither," was the care- 
less verdict. The case was thus summarily 
disposed of, and the plaintiff dispatched to 
an out-of-the-way shed, serving as temporary 
prison, to await removal to Aungbinle. In 
these obscure quarters he spent a restless, 
tantalizing day. Here he was in the same 
city with his wife and child, separated only 
by a few minutes' distance, yet powerless to 
go to them or to hear one word of intelli- 
gence concerning them. Tantalus, parched 
with thirst and standing forever in the water 
he could not reach, was in no worse predica- 

Toward night ^loung Ing came to his re- 
lief, having searched in vain for him through- 
out the day. At intervals this faithful Bur- 
mese had returned to the house to report his 
fruitless quest to the waiting wife. For her, 
too, the day had been almost insupportable. 


Ann of Ava 

The " last straw " had been Moung Ing's dis- 
covery that her husband was ordered back to 
Aungbinle. She could scarcely breathe after 
the shock of these tidings. If ever in her life 
Mrs. Judson felt the potency of prayer it 
was on that dreadful day. " I could not rise 
from my couch," she afterwards wrote, " I 
could make no efforts to secure my husband; 
I could only plead with that great and pow- 
erful Being who has said, ' Call upon me in 
the day of trouble, and I will hear, and thou 
shalt glorify me,' and who made me at this 
time feel so powerfully this promise that I 
became quite composed, feeling assured that 
my prayers would be answered." 

It was in this desperate situation that Mrs. 
Judson resolved to appeal once again to the 
governor, who had so many times befriended 
them. " Entreat him," she instructed Moung 
Ing, " to make one more effort for the release 
of Mr. Judson, and to prevent his being sent 
to the country prison," where, she thought 
wistfully, " I cannot follow and he must 
needs suffer much." 

For the last time the friendly governor 
came to the relief of the foreign lady who 

Ann of Ava 

had so fully captured his homage. He sent 
a petition to the high court of the empire, 
offered himself as security for Mr. Judson 
and won his release. Early the next morn- 
ing Mr. Judson was summoned to the gov- 
ernor's house, there to receive the prize that 
is beyond rubies, his freedom. With a step 
more rapid, a heart more hopeful, than for 
two years past, he hurried through the streets 
of Ava to his own home. 

The door of his house stood open as he 
approached, and, unobserved by any one, he 
entered. There, crouching in the ashes be- 
fore a pan of coals sat a grimy, half-clothed 
Burmese woman, holding in her arms a puny, 
puny baby so covered with dirt that never 
for a moment did Mr. Judson dream it could 
be his own child. He crossed the threshold 
into the next room, where, lying across the 
foot of the bed, as if she had fallen there, 
was the figure of a woman. Her face was 
white, her features drawn and sharp, and 
her whole form shrunken and emaciated. 
Her brown curls had been cut off and an old 
cotton cap covered her head. Everything in 
the room spoke of neglect and ignorance in 


Ann of Ava 

keeping with the face of the Burmese nurse 
who held the baby before the fire. In these 
squalid surroundings lay the beautiful, high- 
spirited woman who for fourteen years had 
never once " counted her life dear unto her- 
self " if only she might follow the companion 
of her heart in his high path of service for 
God and man. " In journeyings often, in 
perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, 
in perils in the sea, in perils among false 
brethren; in labor and travail, in watchings 
often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, 
in cold and nakedness; besides those things 
that are without " — daily anxiety for the little 
struggling Burmese church, — thus ran the 
course of their Christlike sacrifice. 

It may have been a tear which glanced her 
cheek, or a breath which came too near, or 
the sense of a dear, familiar presence more 
palpable than touch, for Ann Judson stirred 
uneasily in her sleep and opened her brown 
eyes — to look into her husband's face. 




UNDER the tropical moonlight which 
cast a shimmer of gold upon the 
dark waters of the Irawadi, a 
wounded British officer kept lonel/ vigil. 
He had been traitorously attacked by the 
Burmese boatmen who manned his canoe, 
robbed of his possessions, sorely injured in 
the fray, and abandoned to his fate upon the 
deserted shore. For long, restless hours he 
watched for the passage of a friendly craft 
up or down stream. 

As moonlight faded into daylight, a large 
rowboat, escorted by half a dozen golden 
boats, was seen approaching from the direc- 
tion of Ava. The wounded man waved a 
signal of distress, which was instantly heeded 
by the passing flotilla. A skiff was sent 
skimming over the water to his rescue, and 
as if by magic he found himself on the deck 
of a commodious rowboat, where the welcome 
accorded him was more wondrous than ma- 
gician's art. Had thoughts of home woven 


Ann of Ava 

a spell about his senses, or was he in solid 
reality looking into the face of a woman of 
his own race, the first white woman he had 
seen for more than a year in his military 
exile in Burma? She stood on the little deck 
leaning upon the arm of a worn, scholarly- 
looking man, evidently her husband. She 
herself was almost unearthly in her ethereal 
beauty, while her gentle speech fell upon his 
ear like " a household hymn of his youth." 
His wounds were dressed and his head band- 
aged by a hand which had caught the art of 
deft and tender touch. 

For two days, as the phalanx of boats 
glided slowly down the river toward the 
British camp, the wounded lieutenant dis- 
coursed with his new friends, reveling in the 
sense of home their companionship afforded 
him. In the daytime warmth and the cool 
of moonlight evenings they sat on deck re- 
counting experiences, novel, thrilling, and sad, 
which had been lived out in the heathen land 
of their exile. Mrs. Judson, for she it was, 
sat in a large, swinging chair, in which her 
slight, graceful form seemed like a spirit 
scarcely touching this material world. At 

Ann of Ava 

her feet lay the baby Maria, a poor little 
delicate baby, whose very frailty drew out the 
mother's fondest love. At her side sat her 
husband, watching with tender solicitude the 
play of her sensitive face as she talked. The 
British lieutenant, man of action that he was, 
listened spellbound to the vivid charm of her 
speech, made doubly eloquent in the presence 
of the tragic experiences of the last two 
years, revealing at once her sweetness of 
spirit and the alert vigor of her mind. 

As the time came to part with the two 
people who had touched his life so briefly 
yet so indelibly, the army officer lingered 
wistfully, reluctant to pass out of their 
presence. As he looked for the last time 
into Mrs. Judson's face, while she was giving 
directions in Burmese to his new boatmen, 
tears gathered in his eyes, for with prophetic 
insight the British lieutenant foresaw that so 
delicate a spirit could not long remain in 
this human world. 

For Mr. and Mrs. Judson the trip down 
the Irawadi in that month of March, 1826, 
was like a foretaste of heaven. Many years 
after the events recorded in these chapters, 


Ann of Ava 

Adoniram Judson was in the midst of a 
group of people who were discussing a 
mooted question. What was the keenest 
pleasure ever experienced by mortal man 
since the world began? Some cited one in- 
stance, some another, revealing what men of 
different ages had regarded as supreme en- 
joyment, when Mr. Judson interposed. 
** Pooh," said he, " these men were not quali- 
fied to judge. I know of a much higher 
pleasure than that. What do you think of 
floating down the Irawadi on a cool, moon- 
light evening, with your wife by your side, 
and your baby in your arms, jree — all free? 
But you cannot understand it, either ; it needs 
a twenty-one months' qualification, and I can 
never regret my twenty-one months of misery, 
when I recall that one delicious thrill. I 
think I have had a better appreciation of 
what heaven may be ever since." 

Escape from Ava had been purchased on 
no easy terms for either foreigner or Bur- 
mans. In its childish egotism, the Burmese 
government had persistently declined all 
overtures for peace, imagining, like Mr. 
Micawber, that something would " turn up " 

Ann of Ava 

to enable them to drive the British army out 
of the country. But now that foreign army 
was actually advancing toward the capital 
city itself, and consternation was rife. Two 
foreigners, Dr. Price and an English officer, 
were dispatched to the British camp to sue 
for peace, while within the nation's capital, 
panic-stricken citizens built stockades and 
fortifications with furious energy. The house 
on the river bank where the Judsons once 
lived was torn down and the ground leveled 
for the placing of cannon. 

Meantime the embassage returned and an- 
nounced the treaty terms stipulated by Sir 
Archibald Campbell, commander-in-chief of 
the British army. The Burmese government 
must pay the sum of ten million rupees, and 
must instantly surrender all foreign prison- 
ers. The Judson family was specified by 
name in this latter order, upon hearing which 
the king exclaimed, " They are not English; 
they are my people, and shall not go." For 
the past three months Mr. Judson's services 
as interpreter and counselor had become so 
indispensable to the Burmese government 
that consent to his departure would be re- 

Ann of Ava 

luctantly yielded. At that time both Mr. 
Judson and his wife were fully convinced that 
they would never be permitted to leave Ava. 

As soon as peace terms were proclaimed 
in the royal palace, the Burmese officials be- 
gan to haggle and shuffle, thinking that some- 
how the demands might be evaded, at the 
same time accusing the foreigners of double- 
dealing for not securing milder terms. Again 
and again they procrastinated, thinking, in 
their ignorance of military principles, that 
even though the money should be paid the 
British army would still continue its march 
upon Ava. At last Sir Archibald Campbell 
issued an ultimatum: if the sum demanded 
should be paid before he reached Ava, peace 
would be concluded, if not, then war to the 
finish I All foreign prisoners who chose to 
leave Ava must be released at once else peace 
would be forfeited. Some Burmese officials 
remarked to Mr. Judson, " You will not 
leave us; you shall become a great man if 
you will remain." Adroitly he replied that 
his wife wished to go, therefore he must 

At last the indemnity was paid, the prison- 

Ann of Ava 

ers released from Aimgbinle and sent either 
to their homes, or down the river to the Brit- 
ish camp, and — war tvas over! On the banks 
of the river Mr. and Mrs. Judson bade af- 
fectionate farewell to the friendly governor 
at whose house they had spent the last two 
months, and left, as they supposed forever, 
the " golden city " of Ava. Then came that 
blissful journey do^vn the Irawadi, the com- 
radeship with the British officer whose lot 
was cast with theirs fpr so brief a time, and 
finally, the first sure token of civilized life — 
the outlines of an English steamboat! 

As their Burmese rowboat grated on the 
shore, two British officers sprang on board 
to extend a welcome and to proffer the hos- 
pitality of the anchored steamer. There, 
Mrs. Judson spent the remainder of the day, 
while her husband went to the camp, a few 
miles down stream. In the evening he re- 
turned with an invitation from the British 
general to come at once to his quarters. 

The reception of a lady is always an event 
in army life, and she who was heralded as the 
heroine of Ava was to be the heroine also 
of the British soldiers. Unusual military 


Ann of Ava 

honors were prepared for her welcome in 
camp. As a mark of especial attention, Sir 
Archibald Campbell sent his own son to 
escort her from the steamer. Upon her ar- 
rival he himself stood on the shore to greet 
his guest and to conduct her to a tent more 
commodious than his own, boasting the un- 
common luxury of a veranda. Through all 
his official courtesy ran the strain of a gen- 
uine fatherly kindness which would never be 
forgotten by its recipients. The officers of 
his staff vied with one another in doing honor 
to their lady visitor whose gentle heroism im- 
pelled their deepest gallantry. Their cour- 
teous bearing contrasted as sharply with the 
gruff demeanor of the Burmese officers as 
civilization contrasts with heathendom. 

" I presume to say," wrote Ann Judson in 
a home letter, *' that no persons on earth 
were ever happier than we were during the 
fortnight we passed at the British camp. 
For several days this single idea wholly 
occupied my mind — that we were out of the 
power of the Burmese government, and once 
more under the protection of the British. 
Our feelings continually dictated expressions 

Ann of Ava 

like this : ' What shall we render to the Lord 
for all his benefits toward us? ' " 

An incident, half humorous, half pathetic, 
occurred a few days after the Judsons' ar- 
rival at camp. General Campbell proposed 
to give a dinner to the Burmese commis- 
sioners, and to make it an affair of pomp and 
magnificence fully expressing his nation's dig- 
nity. As if by an enchanted wand the camp 
was transformed into a wonderland of fes- 
tivity, with floating banners and crimson and 
gold garnishings such as particularly delight 
Oriental fancy. At the appointed hour the 
company assembled and, while the band 
played, marched in couples toward the table, 
led by Sir Archibald Campbell, who walked 
in solitary state. As the procession neared 
the tent with the veranda the music ceased, 
the grand march halted, and every guest, 
especially the Eurmese to whom this scene 
was novelty personified, watched intently for 
the next act in the spectacle. 

The general entered the tent and presently 
reappeared with a lady on his arm whom he 
led to the table and seated at his right hand. 
That was the psychologic moment when the 


Ann of Ava 

Burmese commissioners wished devoutly that 
the ground would open and swallow them, 
for that lady, honored above all others by the 
leading personage in the Burmese empire at 
that time, the general who had them com- 
pletely at his mercy, that lady could place 
a black mark of condemnation against every 
Burmese official present, save one whose 
record was clean. She was the teacher's wife 
whom they had treated with incivility and 
cruelty in the day of her misfortune. Judg- 
ing by Burmese standards of ethics, their day 
of reckoning had come, for she would of 
course retaliate and demand their punish- 
ment. They and their wives would seek 
revenge were the circumstances reversed. 
" Oif with their heads " would be the military 
command next in order. Little they knew 
Mrs. Judson or the Christianity which in- 
spired her life! 

A glance around the table revealed to her 
the discomfiture of the Burmese guests. One 
poor man was suffering palpable remorse for 
his misdeeds. Perspiration covered his face, 
which was white and distorted with fear, 
while he trembled as if seized with an ague 

Ann of Ava 

fit. There was sufficient reason for his qualms 
of conscience, for he was the culprit who 
had brutally scoffed at the misery he might 
have relieved. 

One day Mrs. Judson had walked several 
miles to his house, to beseech a favor for her 
husband, who was bound with five pairs of 
fetters in the inner prison, and suffering from 
fever. It was early morning when she had 
left home, but so long was she kept waiting 
for an audience, that it was high noon when 
she presented her petition, only to receive a 
gruff refusal. As she turned to go, he caught 
sight of the silk umbrella she carried, and 
since it pleased his fancy he must needs 
possess it for his own. In vain she pleaded 
the danger of walking the long distance with 
no protection from the scorching midday sun. 
If he must have her parasol would he not 
furnish her with a paper one to shield her 
from the heat? Whereupon he laughed a 
sneering laugh, and replied that only stout 
people were in danger of sunstroke, the sun 
could not find such as she, thus mocking the 
very suffering which had wasted her to a 


Ann of Ava 

Mrs. Judson could almost smile now in 
recollection of the incident, especially at sight 
of the poor man's dismay, which pity bade 
her relieve. In her clear Burmese she spoke 
a few encouraging words to him, assuring him 
he had nothing whatsoever to fear. The 
British officers who had sensed the situation 
joined her in efforts to set him at ease, but 
with small success. Throughout the feast he 
was possessed by a fear he could not conceal. 
So much for the difference between Christian 
and heathen standards of conduct! 

All too soon the time of departure drew 
nigh, when the Judsons must leave the 
friendly environment of the British camp, 
and embark on the river journey to their old 
home in Rangoon. General Campbell ar- 
ranged for their passage to the coast on a 
British gunboat, in which conveyance, more 
novel to the missionaries than Burmese row- 
boat or Burmese cart, they returned to the 
city where, thirteen years ago, they began life 
as pioneers in the heathen land of Burma. 
What had befallen the little church they had 
founded in labor and sorrow? Would they 
find it broken and scattered, or upstanding 

Ann of Ava 

and stalwart? Had the eighteen Christian 
disciples remained loj^al to their God through 
all the turmoil and affliction? A few hours 
would tell, for already they were in sight of 
the golden pagoda, the crowning landmark of 



AFTER thirteen years of residence in 
/% Burma, Mr. and Mrs. Judson found 
^ .A. themselves as homeless on their re- 
turn to Rangoon in 1826 as upon that July 
day when they first landed in the forbidding 
country. The mission house had survived 
the ravage of war, but the mission itself had 
broken ranks and dispersed. The mission- 
aries had narrowly escaped death and had 
fled to Calcutta to wait for the close of the 
war. The Burmese Christians, eighteen in 
number, had scattered in alarm, though none 
but two had failed in loyalty to the holy faith 
they professed. Four of them hastened to 
Rangoon to welcome the Judsons, whose fate 
had been so long a sealed mystery to the 
world outside of Ava. In the loyalty of a 
common devotion to Christ they promised to 
follow the American teachers whithersoever 
they should go to build anew the shattered 
mission of Burma. 

When Mr. and Mrs. Judson journeyed 

Ann of Ava 

down the river from Ava to Rangoon they 
carried with them a trophy of priceless value. 
It was a little hard roll of paper which had 
been rescued, seemingly by miracle, from the 
death prison. To preserve the cherished pos- 
session from destruction, Mrs. Judson had 
artfully concealed it within the old pillow 
used by her husband in prison. On that evil 
day when he was robbed of clothes and be- 
longings and marched away to Aungbinle, 
a jailer seized the pillow, untied its covering, 
and flung away in contempt the meaningless 
roll he found inside. Some hours afterwards 
the faithful Moung Ing discovered the cot- 
ton-covered package and, prizing it as the 
only relic of the vanished prisoners, took it 
home and secreted it. Many months later 
the hidden treasure was brought to light, and 
inside the tattered covering was found the 
unfinished manuscript of the Burmese Bible, 
upon which Mr. Judson had spent ten years 
of arduous labor. Surely it was God's hand 
that had saved those precious pages from 

Eight years later the entire Bible was 
translated into Burmese. It has been said 


Ann of Ava 

that Mr. Judson's Bible is to the Burmese 
people what Luther's is to the Germans, 
and the King James version to English- 
speaking races. To the varied adventures 
of his missionary career, even in large meas- 
ure to the tragic events at Ava, Mr. Judson 
owed his unique opportunity for mastering 
the intricacies of Burmese speech. 

Ann and Adoniram Judson had been the 
pioneers of a new civilization in the heathen 
land of Burma, but, like most pioneers, the 
consummation of their labor was left for 
future generations to achieve and enjoy. As 
they walked through the squalid streets of 
Rangoon in March, 1826, the veil was not 
lifted from the future years to disclose the 
transformed structure which other workmen 
would build upon their foundations. Since 
they were the first American teachers to 
arrive in Burma, they could scarcely discern, 
out of their small beginnings of Christian 
education, the great institution, known as 
Rangoon Baptist College, which some day 
would stand upon a broad, paved street in 
the midst of the city, summoning to its class- 
rooms more than one thousand students from 

Ann of Ava 

all parts of the empire. With only the sim- 
ple hand press brought from Serampore to 
issue their modest publications, how could 
they foresee the well-equipped printing es- 
tablishment, known as the American Baptist 
]\Iission Press, which in the coming years 
would stand upon a thriving business street, 
employing two hundred men and women to 
print Bibles, school-books, and other litera- 
ture in the dialects of the principal tribes of 
Burma? When their little church could mus- 
ter but three native members out of the deso- 
lation of war, how could such a diminutive 
band foreshadow the one hundred and fifty- 
eight organized churches with a membership 
of nearly ten thousand, which in the twen- 
tieth century can be found within the boun- 
daries of Rangoon? 

These beautiful realities of the future to 
be achieved not only in Rangoon but in the 
chief cities and towns of Burma, were with- 
held from the eager gaze of the first mission- 
aries. Their task was to " walk by faith, not 
by sight," and " blessed are they who have 
not seen, and yet have believed." The hope 
which inspired their pioneer labor, was not 


Ann of Ava 

unlike the Hope of Watts' picture, a baffled, 
blindfolded figure upon the " top of the 
world," drawing determined music from the 
lyre of one string. 

To remain at Rangoon at the close of the 
war seemed a wholly imprudent course. 
Anarchy, famine, and wild beasts followed 
in quick succession. Tigers lurked in the 
outskirts of the city, carrying off cattle and 
human victims. JVIoreover the city was under 
British control for only a temporary period, 
pending the final ratification of peace terms, 
after which the old despotic regime would be 
resumed. Thanks to the war it was no longer 
necessary to live under the Burmese govern- 
ment in order to live among Burmese people. 
Among the spoils of war Great Britain had 
claimed a long strip of Burmese territory 
bordering upon the seacoast. Already the 
region was well populated with Burmans, and 
refugees from the tyranny of Ava would 
throng increasingly within the boundaries of 
British justice. Somewhere within this bor- 
derland of humane government, the mission- 
aries would stake their claims for settlement. 

As their thoughts were turning with the 

Ann of Ava 

hardihood of the true pioneer toward the 
frontier country, Mr. Judson was oppor- 
tunely invited to join the British Civil Com- 
missioner on an exploration tour in the new 
province to determine the site of its capital 
city. In the very heart of the jungle the 
explorers decided to build the city of the 
future because the climate was invigorating 
and the elevation high and commanding. 
With a prayer of dedication, the British flag 
was hoisted, and the infant settlement named 
Amherst, in honor of the Governor-general 
of India. 

On the second day of July, 1826, the Jud- 
son family, preceded by the four Burmese 
Christians, removed from Rangoon to. Am- 
herst to create out of its wilderness a home 
and a mission. Even before they left Ran- 
goon an old and unwelcome question had 
thrust in its claims for decision. The British 
Civil Commissioner was to be sent as envoy 
to Ava to negotiate a commercial treaty with 
the Burmese government, and Mr. Judson 
was urged to accompany him in the capacity 
of British ambassador. At first he vigor- 
ously demurred, having no relish for further 


Ann of Ava 

encounter with the tricky Burmese govern- 
ment and no heart to leave home after his 
long and painful absence. Perhaps as bait 
for his acceptance, there was finally offered 
him that golden opportunity which never yet 
had he been able to resist. If he would join 
the embassy, they would agree to work for 
the insertion of a clause in the treaty, insur- 
ing religious liberty to the subjects of Burma. 
A vision of the whole country open to the 
gospel of Christ broke down every scruple 
against the journey. With all her heart Mrs. 
Judson seconded the decision to go, regard- 
less of the loneliness in store for herself and 
Maria in their wilderness home. 

In the little house at Amherst, vacated by 
the British Civil Superintendent for their 
occupancy, Mr. and Mrs. Judson prayed to- 
gether and kissed each other good-by for the 
separation which promised to be far less long 
and hazardous than many they had experi- 
enced in their adventurous lives. They had 
been preserved through such extreme perils 
and hardships that an absence of three or 
four months, in circumstances of safety and 
comfort, seemed a matter of trivial import. 

Ann of Ava 

In expectation of a speedy reunion, and a 
home life sanctified by the sorrow of the 
past, Mrs. Judson watched her husband de- 
part out of the peace of the tropical forest 
into the friction and discontent of the heathen 
city of Ava. 

After he had gone she went eagerly to 
work, fashioning visible evidences of the mis- 
sion they dreamed of establishing in the new 
Burma. Within the passage of two months' 
time, she had erected a bamboo house and 
two schoolhouses, in one of which she col- 
lected ten pupils for Moung Ing to instruct, 
reserving the other for the girls' school she 
planned to teach herself. Each Sunday she 
held services for the small but loyal congre- 
gation of Burmese Christians. " After all 
our sufferings and afflictions," she wrote her 
husband, " I cannot but hope that God has 
mercy and a blessing in store for us. Let 
us strive to obtain it by our prayers and 
holy life." 

When late September fell upon the unquiet 
city of Ava, Mr. Judson received another 
letter from his wife which rang with hopeful- 
ness and brought a tinge of relief to his con- 


Ann of Ava 

stant solicitude for the little jungle home 
he had left behind. " I have this day moved 
into the new house," wrote INIrs. Judson, 
" and for the first time since we were broken 
up at Ava feel myself at home. The house 
is large and convenient, and if you were here 
I should feel quite happy. The native popu- 
lation is increasing very fast, and things wear 
a favorable aspect. Moung Ing's school has 
commenced with ten scholars, and more are 
expected. Poor little Maria is still feeble. 
I sometimes hope she is getting better; then 
again she declines to her former weakness. 
When I ask her where papa is, she always 
starts up and points toward the sea. The 
servants behave very well and I have no trou- 
ble about anything excepting you and Maria. 
Pray take care of yourself, particularly as 
regards the intermittent fever at Ava. May 
God preserve and bless you, and restore you 
in safety to your new and old home, is the 
prayer of your affectionate Ann." 

The solace of this message brought to ]SIr. 
Judson no suggestion of the solemn, heart- 
breaking reality which a few weeks would 
disclose. No warning voice told him, as he 

Ann of Ava 

chafed at the long absence from home, that 
away toward the coast in the frontier town 
of Amherst, the wife who had ministered to 
him with such matchless devotion, would soon 
need his succor as she had never needed be- 
fore and would never need again. How 
could he know that the slip of paper he held 
in his hand bore the last written word he 
would ever receive from Ann, his dearly 
loved Ann? 

The annoying events of every day in the 
too familiar environment of Ava kept mind 
and heart busily occupied but perpetually 
disquieted. Associations too painful to re- 
call, yet too evident to escape, preyed daily 
upon his senses. Again he was entangled 
in the maze of stupidity and conceit which 
comprised the government of Burma. And 
again, alas, he was confounded by the flat 
refusal of the king to grant religious freedom 
to his subjects. What unholy spell was cast 
upon the name of Ava to yield such a harvest 
of galling experience! 

Why had he come? The trip had proved 
one long, unrelieved disappointment, yet at 
its outset it had looked so promising, had 


Ann of Ava 

seemed to indicate so plainly the path of 
duty. With torturing insistence he asked 
that question on the day in November when 
a black sealed letter was laid cautiously in 
his hands. Upon sight of the envelope, bear- 
ing its emblem of grief, he concluded that 
frail little Maria had lost hold of life. With 
thankfulness too deep for tears, that the 
mother was spared, he went into his room, 
broke the seal, and read the opening sentence 
of a letter written by a British officer in 

"My dear Sir: — To one who has suffered 
so much, and with such exemplary fortitude, 
there needs but little preface to tell a tale 
of distress. It were cruel indeed to torture 
you with doubt and suspense. To sum up 
the unhappy tidings in a few words, Mrs, 
Judson is no more. . . ." In broken snatches 
he got through the dreadful letter, every 
phrase of which was written, as if by fire, 
upon his heart. Early in October she was 
taken sick with fever so violent that from 
the first a sure instinct told her she could 
not recover. A skilful Enghsh physician 

The Hopia Tree 

Ann of Ava 

was in constant attendance, and through the 
kindness of the Civil Superintendent, a 
European nurse was procured from the 
forty-fifth regiment. Everything which a 
loving appreciation could prompt was done 
for her comfort and healing, but to no avail. 
For two weeks the fever rose and fell, in- 
creased and abated, until when its course 
was fully run, her strength was also com- 
pletely spent. On the 6th of October, in 
the dusk of evening, her spirit went home 
to God. " We have buried her," so the letter 
ran, " near the spot where she first landed, 
and I have put up a small, rude fence around 
the grave, to protect it from incautious in- 
trusions. Your little girl, Maria, is much 
better. Mrs. Wade has taken charge of her, 
and I hope she will continue to thrive under 
her care." 

Some weeks later, a broken-hearted man 
sat down in the desolate house at Amherst 
and wrote to the mother of Ann, over in the 
Hasseltine homestead in Bradford. This is 
the story of those last days as his pen 
recorded it: 


Ann of Ava 

"Amherst, February 4, 1827. 

" Amid the desolation that death has made, 
I take up my pen once more to address the 
mother of my beloved Ann. I am sitting 
in the house she built, in the room where she 
breathed her last, and at a window from 
which I see the hopia tree that stands at the 
head of her grave, and the top of the * small, 
rude fence ' which they have put up ' to pro- 
tect it from incautious intrusion.' 

" Mr. and Mrs. Wade are living in the 
house, having arrived here about a month 
after Ann's death; and Mrs. Wade has taken 
charge of my poor motherless JNIaria. I was 
unable to get any accounts of the child at 
Rangoon; and it was only on my arriving 
here, the 24th ultimo, that I learned she was 
still alive. Mr. Wade met me at the landing- 
place, and as I passed on to the house one 
and another of the native Christians came 
out, and when they saw me they began to 
weep. At length we reached the house, and 
I almost expected to see my love coming out 
to meet me, as usual. But no; I saw only in 
the arms of Mrs. Wade a poor little puny 
child, who could not recognize her weeping 

Ann of Ava 

father, and from whose infant mind had long 
been erased all recollection of the mother 
who had loved her so much. 

" She turned away from me in alarm, and 
I, obliged to seek comfort elsewhere, found 
my way to the grave. But who ever obtained 
comfort there? Thence I went to the house 
in which I left her, and looked at the spot 
where we last knelt in prayer and where we 
exchanged the parting kiss. 

" It seems that her head was much af- 
fected during her last days, and she said 
but little. She sometimes complained thus: 
* The teacher is long in coming; and the new 
missionaries are long in coming; I must die 
alone, and leave my little one; but as it 
is the will of God, I acquiesce in his will. 
I am not afraid of death, but I am 
afraid I shall not be able to bear these 
pains. Tell the teacher that the disease was 
most violent, and I could not write; tell him 
how I suffered and died; tell him all that you 
see; and take care of the house and things 
until he returns.' When she was unable to 
notice anything else, she would still call the 
child to her, and charge the nurse to be 


Ann of Ava 

kind to it, and indulge it in everything, un- 
til its father should return. The last day or 
two she lay almost senseless and motionless, 
on one side, her head reclining on her arm, 
her eyes closed; and at eight in the evening, 
with one exclamation of distress in the Bur- 
mese language, she ceased to breathe. 

" The doctor is decidedly of opinion that 
the fatal termination of the fever is not to 
be ascribed to the localities of the new settle- 
ment, but chiefly to the weakness of her con- 
stitution, occasioned by the severe privations 
and long-protracted sufferings she endured 
at Ava. O, with what meekness, and pa- 
tience, and magnanimity and Christian forti- 
tude she bore those sufferings! And can I 
wish they had been less? Can I sacri- 
legiously wish to rob her crown of a single 
gem? Much she saw and suffered of the 
evil of this evil world, and eminently was she 
qualified to relish and enjoy the pure and 
holy rest into which she has entered. True, 
she has been taken from a sphere in which 
she was singularly qualified, by her natural 
disposition, her winning manners, her devoted 
zeal, and her perfect acquaintance with the 

Ann of Ava 

language, to be extensively serviceable to the 
cause of Christ; true, she has been torn 
from her husband's bleeding heart and from 
her darling babe; but infinite wisdom and 
love have presided, as ever, in this most 
afflicting dispensation. Faith decides that it 
is all right, and the decision of faith eternity 
will soon confirm." 

In the spring of that sad New Year, the 
child Maria, aged two years and three 
months, was laid by the side of her mother 
under the hopia tree, which shaded their 
graves with its fair name of hope. Hope, 
sometimes blithesome and radiant, sometimes 
downcast and suffering, but always hope un- 
conquerable, had inspired the life of Ann 
Hasseltine Judson from its beginning in the 
hill village of New England to its close 
in the jungle village of Burma. But lying 
deeper than hope, deeper even than faith, 
down in her heart of hearts was buried the 
secret which had transformed her life, — 
" Whom, not having seen, I love." 



Hist of 

iVItsisiton IBoarbs! anb 


INASMUCH as the publishing business of the Missionary Education Move- 
ment is conducted in behalf of the Foreign and Home Mission Boards and 
Societies of the United States and Canada, the Movement conducts no retail 
business, but directs all orders to the Mission Boards. 

Orders for Uterature on foreign and home missions should be addressed to the 
secretaries representing those organizations, who are prepared to furnish special 
helps to leaders of mission study classes and to other missionary workers. 

lif the address of the secretary of the foreign or home mission board or society 
of your denomination is not included herein, cJrders may be sent to the Missionary 
Education Movement, but in no case will the Movement fill orders from persons 
who belong to the Churches indicated in this list. All persons ordering directly 
from the Missionary Education Movement Jire requested to indicate their denomi- 
nation when ordering. 

Advent Christian — American Advent Mission Society, Rev. George E. Tyler, 
1 60 Warren Street, Boston, Mass. 

Associate Reformed Presbyterian — Young People's Christian Union and Sab- 
bath School Work, Rev. J. W. Carson, Newberry, S. C. 

Baptist (North) — Department of Missionary Education of the Cooperating 
Organizations of the Northern Baptist Convention. 23 Elast 26th Street, 
New York City. 

Baptist (South) — Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 
Rev. T. B. Ray, 1103 Main Street, Richmond, Va. (Correspondence con- 
cerning both foreign and home missions.) 

Baptist (Ck>LORSD) — Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Conven- 
tion, Rev. L. G. Jordan, 701 South Nineteenth Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Christian — The Mission Board of the Christian Church; Foreign Missions, Rev. 
M. T. Morrill; Home Missions, Rev. Omer S. Thomas, C. P. A. Building, 
Dayton, Ohio. 

Christian Reformed — Board of Heathen Missions, Rev, Henry Beets, 2050 
Francis Avenue, S. E., Grand Rapids, Mich. 

CntmcH OF THE Brethren — General Mission Board of the Church of the Breth'. 
ren. Rev. Galen B. Royer, Elgin, Dl. 

Congregational — American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Rev 

D. Brewer Eddy, 14 Beacon Street. Boston, Mass. 
American Missionary Association, Rev. C. J. Ryder, 287 Fourth Avenue, New 

York City. 
The (xmgregational Home Missionary Society, Rev. William S. Beard, 287 

Fourth Avenue, New York City. 

Disciples of Christ — Foreign Christian Missionary Society, Rev. Stephen J. 
Corey, Box 884, Cincinnati, Ohio. 
The American Christian Missionary Society, Mr. R. M. Hopkins, Carew Build- 
iag, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Evangelical Association — Missionary Society of the Evangelical Association, 
Rev. George Johnson, 1903 Woodland Avenue, S. E., Cleveland, Ohio. 

Evangelical Lutheran — Board of Foreign Missions of the General Council of 

the Evangelical Lutheran Church in N. A., Rev. George Drach, Trappe, Pa. 
Board of Home Missions of the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran 

Church in North America, 805-807 Drexel Building, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Board of Foreign Missions of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran 

Church in the U. S. A., Rev. L. B. Wolf, 2i West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, 

Board of Home Missions and Church Extension of the Evangelical Lutheran 

Church. Rev. H. H. Weber, York, Pa. 
Board of Foreign Missions of the United Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran 

Church in the South, Rev. C. L. Brown, Columbia, S. C. ^ 

Friends — American Friends Board of Foreign Missions, Mr. Ross A. Hadley, 
Richmond, Ind. 
Evangelistic and Church Extension Board of the Friends Five Years' Meeting, 
Mr. Harry R. Keates, 1314 Lyon Street, Des Moines, Iowa. 

German Evangelical — Foreign Mission Board, German Evangelical Synod of 
North America, Rev. E. Schmidt, 1377 Main Street, Buffalo, N. Y. 
Board of Home Missions of the Germian Evangelical Synod of North Americai 
Evansville, Ind. 

Methodist Episcopal — The Department of Missionary Education. Represent- 
ing the Board of Foreign Missions, the Board of Home Missions and Church 
Extension, and the Board of Sunday Schools. 150 Fifth Avenue, New York 

Methodist Episcopal (South) — The Educational Department of the Board of 
Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Rev. E. H. Rawlings, 
810 Broadway, Nashville, Tenn. (Correspondence concerning both foreign 
and home missions.) 

Methodist Protestant — Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Protestant 
Church, Rev. Fred. C. Klein, 316 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Md. 
Board of Home Missions of the Methodist Protestant Church, Rev. Charles H. 
Beck, West Lafayette, Ohio. 

Moravian — The Department of Missionary Education of the Moravian Church 
in America, Northern Province, Rev. F. W. Stengel, Lititz, Pa. 

Presbyterian (U. S. A.) — The Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian 

Church in the U. S. A., Mr. B. Carter Millikin, Educational Secretary; Rev. 

George H. Trull, Sunday School Secretary, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York City. 

Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A., Mr. J. 

Edward Tompkins, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York City. 

Presbyterian (U. S.) — Executive Committee of Foreign Missions of the Presby- 
terian Church in the U. S., Mr. John I. Armstrong, 154 Fifth Avenue, North, 
Nashville, Tenn. 
General Assembly's Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. 
Rev. S. L. Morris, 1522 Hurt Building, Atlanta, Ga. 

Protestant Episcopal — The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the U. S. A., Mr. W. C. Sturgis, 281 Fourth 
Avenue, New York City. 

Reformed Church in America — Board of Foreign Missions, Rev. E. W. Miller; 
Board of Home Missions, Rev. W. T. Demarest; Board of Publication and 
Bible School Work, Rev. T. F. Bayles. 25 East Twenty-second Street, New 
York City. 

Reformed Church in the United States — Mission Study Department. Rep- 
resenting the Boards of Home and Foreign| Missions, Mr. John H. Poor- 
man, 304 Reformed Church Building, Fifteenth and Race Streets, Philadel- 
phia, Pa. 

United Brethren in Christ — Foreign Missionary Society, Rev. S. S. Hough, 

Otterbein Press Building, Dayton, Ohio. 
Home Missionary Society, Miss Lyda B. Wiggim, United Brethren Building, 

Dayton, Ohio. 
Young People's Work, Rev. O. T. Deever, Otterbein Press Building, Dayton, 


United Evangelical — Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the United 
Evangelical Church and Board of Xhurch Extension, Rev. B. H. Niebel, 
Penbrook, Pa. 

United Norwegian Lutheran — Board of Foreign Missions United Norwegian 
Lutheran Church of America, Rev. M. Saterlie, 425-429 South Fourth Street, 
Minneapolis, Minn. 
Board of Home Missions, United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America, Rev. 
Olaf Gvildseth, 425 South Fourth Street, Minneapolis, Minn. 

United Presbyterian — Mission Study Department of the Board of Foreign Mis- 
sions of the United Presbyterian Church of North America, Rev. James K. 
Quay, 200 North Fifteenth Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 
Board of Home Missions of the United Presbyterian Church of North America, 
Rev. R. A. Hutchison, 209 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Universalis r — Department of Missionary Education of the General Sunday 
School Association of the Universalist Church, Rev. A. Gertrude Earle, 
Methuen, Mass. 


Baptist — The Canadian Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Rev. J. G. Brown, 223 
Church Street, Toronto, Ontario. 

Church of England — The Missionary Society of the Church of England in 
Canada, Rev. Canon S. Gould, 131 Confederation Life Building, Toronto, 

Congregational — Canada Congregational Foreign Missionary Society, Miss EfiSe 
Jamieson, 23 Woodlawn Avenue, East, Toronto, Ontario. 

Methodist — Young People's Forward Movement Department of the Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Church,;.Canada, Rev. F. C. Stephenson, 299 Queen 
Street, West, Toronto, Ontario. 

Presbyterian — Presbyterian Church in Canada, Board of Foreign Missions, Rev. 
A. E. Armstrong, 439 Confederation Life Building, Toronto, Ontario. 


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